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Thread: Apotheosis

  1. #26
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    Chapter 011 Cont.

    “Is it almost ready Creed?”

    “The soul army will be able to initialise as planned in eight hours.”

    “Excellent work, I trust you’ll make me proud as the general.”

    “I wouldn’t vouch for anything less Carbine.”

    The angel walked out of the room, leaving Creed to look over the large underground military base that stretched to its own horizons. Below, thousands of soldiers were marching in large formation, and loading themselves into huge airships. Engines blared and the smell of burning fuel was in the air. The soul army had entered constant production, and the first fifteen thousand super soldiers of Solar were ready. Creed smiled, overlooking the army he had been elected to lead. He and Andromeda were set to depart to High Charity in less than eight hours, and secure the Grand Palace, before the second wave of soldiers arrived with Carbine. Caroll was to stay at home and overlook the production of new soldiers. Creed turned away from the observation platform and walked towards his own ship, he smiled.

    They won’t even see this coming… the idiots still think they have a week. This is enough to show them how wrong they are for trying to talk down to us. In less than a day the city of High Charity will fall, and at the top of it all, will be me. Things couldn’t be sweeter, and everything is falling into place exactly as we planned.

    Down in the streets of North Solar, in the upstairs of a familiar nightclub, Sage sat at his familiar space, like a statue overlooking a monument. His eyes were cast towards the centre of the city, and the Divinity headquarters. His thoughts were veiled by a large cloud, even he wasn’t sure of the coming events.

    I wonder how Beatrix is doing now…

    ***

    Mikoto awoke to the sun shining from the High Charity skies. She looked at the clock; she had been asleep for eleven hours. Walking out of the room, she noticed Gala and Edge both sat at the centre of the room, watching the television set. Over in the kitchen area, Beatrix had almost finished cooking what looked like eggs and some toast. She smiled at her companions and sat down, looking at the television set. There was some black and white movie on, which she paid no attention to. The room was very silent, aside from the sound of the cutlery being used by Beatrix, and that of the television set.

    Several minutes passed, before the room rumbled slightly, and then was a silence that seemed to last an eternity. A moment later the room exploded into a flash of red light, and then the voice of the computer in the Grand Palace resonated into their ears.

    “RED ALERT. RED ALERT. ALL UNITS EVACUATE UPPER LEVELS IMMEDIATLEY, AND REPORT TO MILITARY COMMANDERS FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTION.”

    “What the fuck is going on?!” Gala shouted, jumping out of his seat and looking around at his companions.

    “Looks like it’s showtime!” Mikoto cried back, a huge smile spreading across her face and adrenaline rushing through her body.

    “F
    uck yeah, lets roll!” Gala shouted back, a similar feeling creeping through his body. Beatrix and Edge simply looked at each other and nodded. The group each ran into their room, and a few moments later, emerged fully suited up for battle.

    “Looks like Solar attacked a lot sooner than we expected.” Beatrix mused, before running over to the exit of the room, followed by her companions. The door to the room opened and a large number of soldiers rushed by, heading towards the end of the hallway.

    “I guess we’ll just go with that lot and see what happens.” Beatrix said, before running after the soldiers. Gala and Mikoto simply smiled at each other and gave chase, followed by Edge. It was clear that the battle of High Charity had finally begun.

    End of Chapter 011.

  2. #27
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    I love it when chapters surpass the character limit. ^^

    I just love all the non-human beings that have made appearances now. Reich is boss, and Snorf—oh, man, I just love Snorf. Cute little thing, and memorable to boot. ^^

    Carbine’s definitely brought things up a notch, hasn’t he? o_o He was pretty damn impressive to begin with, but now that he’s gone and basically proclaimed himself a god, he’s downright scary. He just gets more interesting all the time, he really does.

    Also, the soldier with water-mastery in the tank was pretty damn cool, too. o_o

    Favorite excerpts:

    “Now I suppose we’d best see to Gala, what the hell happened to you kid?” Beatrix said, kneeling down. Gala looked up at her and shook his head slightly.

    “WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? I WAS ****ING SHOT!” Gala shouted, lifting up his jeans and showing the wound, which caused Beatrix to slightly recoil back, before bursting into laughter. Gala started getting angry, his rage slowly but surely becoming visible in the colour of his face, which had now began to turn a remarkable shade of red. “What’s so ****ing funny Beatrix? IT HURTS.” He screamed once more, causing yet more laughter from Beatrix. She shook off the hysterics eventually, and plucked out a small piece of metal from Gala’s leg, before showing it to him.

    “They were shooting you with splinter guns Gala, have you seen the size of these bullets? They’re no bigger than the nib of a ball point pen.” Beatrix stood, smiling at Gala and flicking away the tiny bullet. Gala’s face had turned red once more, but with embarrassment rather than rage.
    “Eh, should be fine. What about weather conditions? You’ll be fine if we hit a storm right?” Beatrix asked, a cautious tone leaking into her voice.

    “No, we’ll go down like you just too the wings off of an aeroplane in mid-flight.” Mikoto replied.

    “What!? Really?” Beatrix replied, panic stricken.

    “Nah I’m just ****ing with you. We’ll be fine, hahaha.”
    “None of your concern lad.” Reich replied, “It won’t matter anyway, even the project won’t do much good in the long run. We are, how you humans say, ‘****ed.’”
    DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
    (Or do. I don't actually mind.)
    The Origin of Storms | Communication

  3. #28
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    Default Snorf!

    Awesome. The plot thickens, big time. Anyways, no complaints about the length from me. This chapter was really good and satisfying, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

    It reminds me a little bit of my fic, except even more sci-fi.
    Gone.

    http://psiumbreon.livejournal.com/82372.html

  4. #29
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    Chapter nine

    She rolled her eyes at the dramatic pose the old man had taken to mark the coming of the new Angel, and stood beside him.
    You don't need the comma.
    Hydrus’ voice had become sharp and final, “regardless of what the Angels are
    I’ll be in 99 if you want me.”
    You have to spell out numbers.
    And so it was that the four Planetists leaders laid eyes upon the greatest Angel to ever be conceived together upon his entry to Charity.
    Doesn't that sound too much like an finishing line? I don't really think that you need it there.
    “Of all that struck me, it had been the eyes that caught my attention most. They were black as the pits of hell you scared your children with when they were small, as to stop them misbehaving, and yet they were as light as that promise you gave them for good behaviour. Something within those portals into the abyss shone brilliantly, and though you could only see it for a split second after much concentration, it set the Angel apart from all others, they were an amazing sight to behold, the eyes of that Angel.”
    That whole paragraph is not part of the story, rather a flashback, so you should italicize it or something.
    “Welcome to the Planet charity my son!!”
    You have a bit of a capitalization problem here. Shouldn't Charity be capitolized? I also think that planet shouldn't be, but I'm not completely sure about that.
    “I hope you will show us many new things, and restore the faith of the Planetist faction that has been dwindling in recent years once more! Tell me my son, what is your name?”
    I like how none of that is a command.
    After a time he spoke, “my name is Carbine. What are yours?” he asked, motioning around to the other three Planetists, as well as Hydrus.
    You seem to have repeated yourself. "After a time he spoke," and "he asked" are a double to the quotation. I suggest putting a period after spoke rather than a comma.
    you to do for us, it’ll” but he was cut off in mid-sentence by Professor Caroll,
    I sould consider putting a hyphen after it'll.
    “Morning Gala!” She exclaimed cheerfully, and walked out of the room, hoping that she was able to give Mikoto a similar call, the sight of Gala falling out of bed like that had lifted her spirits greatly. To her surprise, and also dismay, she found Mikoto already up and dressed, sitting on her bed and tying the laces in her shoes. Beatrix flicked back her hair and rolled her eyes,

    “You’re always ruining my fun Mikoto, you know that?” Mikoto just laughed and shrugged her shoulders,

    “Yeah well, I wouldn’t want you doing that kind of thing to me anyway, that was cruel Bea.”
    This a interstingly messed up. You need to put the quotation of the second paragraph into the first paragraph, and you need to put the whole third paragraph into the second one.
    Edge sat for a moment contemplating a reply, but the only thing he could come up with was a profanity, that as far as he was concerned, wasn’t worth the thought of anyway.
    Put a period after profanity, get rid of that, and put "it" in front of wasn't.
    but Gala shrugged it off, he liked what he liked.
    The part after the comma is a complete sentence. Switch the comma with a period.
    They reached the Northern entrance to the building after a long walk, and climbing up what seemed like a never ending staircase.
    Northern doesn't need to be capitalized. Climbing should end in -ed rather than -ing.
    and looking up and down she saw that the other four members of Reach were at last making an appearance.
    Four? Also, elaborate what you mean when you say they "were at last making an appearance."
    just after 4:20pm in the afternoon.
    I highly doubt that it took ten minutes for Hydrus to get into his fighting stance.

    There were a lot of places where you put ", and" without forming an sentence behind it. If it doesn't have and + a complete sentence behind the comma, it doesn't need a comma.

    The two main things you have to work on are appropriate comma placement and putting what things with quotation. Much of the time it's a combination of both. Also you need to work on what needs to be capitalized and what doesn't, although it seems like most of the time you're just forgetting. You are improving on showing us who's talking though. You're giving the people personality when they talk back and forth, which is what you were lacking a bit before.

    The thing I have to say you really need to do is stop using so many commas. The more often you use commas, the more likely you are to make a run-on sentence. However don't stop using commas all together. If you don't use commas, you will have many sentence fragments. Be aware of where you place your commas and periods.

    You're also having a few continuity issues, but I'm not sure how to help you with that.

    Chapter ten

    “Haha! No my dear Edge,” Creed paused after mentioning his name; a glint seemed to appear in his eyes,
    Pronoun placement. You say his but you don't mean the subject of the sentence. The first his should be Edge.
    The fact the people down there can’t live in peace because of each other, it’s his entire fault?”
    is
    Also, get rid of the comma.
    Professor Caroll and Prude walked over and stood alongside Creed, to see what the unfurling episode was about.
    Get rid of the comma.
    Creed laughed, as he brought Beatrix down to the ground with a stroke of his sword that had been stopped in
    mid air
    by Eve.
    Midair has no space between. Get rid of the comma.
    The wound closed up immediately and, although Gala still had a splitting headache, it was like it wasn’t ever there.
    Put the comma before and. Also, the last part of the sentence is a little comfusing.
    He needed a weapon of his own, he needed his a sword.
    The comma should be a period.
    “You’re sharp that was the general idea, yeah. Any suggestions?” she replied.
    The "you're sharp" piece seems a little useless to me.
    “Three floors down is a small air dock, they keep helicopters, parachutes, and bi-planes.” Edge responded, turning his back on Beatrix and looking out over the city, before speaking again,

    “If we’re going to use a plane, we’ll need to make a crash landing, there’s no where in the north sector where it can be landed, so our best bet is to use a helicopter.”
    You don't need the Paragraph space inbetween those. Also the second comma of the second paragraph needs to be a period.
    Mikoto seemed to be lost in thought, and indeed she was, mostly concerned what was revealed by Creed, and also where the young girl, Prude, had gotten to.
    Run-on sentence, consider revising.
    Until they reached the air dock, there was no conversation between the companions, they all seemed to be lost in a thought of their own, and it was subconscious following of the signs that eventually caused their arrival into the air dock, which was just as deserted as the rest of the floors they had proceeded through.
    Second comma: period
    into the helicopter, and Mikoto took the pilots seat.
    that needs an apostraphe.
    Hydrus was her father, and upon his death and the reformation, a new leader was to be elected, Andromeda had about as much chance as the secretary in the front offices did, as the entire reformation had been planned with her help, and the new leader had been decided very near to the beginning, and even then Andromeda did not wish to be the supreme ruler of the Planetists, she was comfortable with what she had.
    Major run-on sentence.
    even more so than say, the elementalists of the north.”
    Names of groups are always capitalized.
    The feeling produced made he wholly uneasy, and she lowered the gun from Andromeda’s head, unsure of whether or not it was her own will that had caused her to do so.
    her
    She thought
    o
    herself for a moment, before nodding slightly and looking up at Carbine and the others.
    to; don't need the comma
    “If they hadn’t of shown up today things would have gone as planned, and this would have been done with hours ago.
    have
    We thought that he had been wiped out along with his parents until around three weeks ago, when several reports of a gang of Mercenaries with a rising reputation within the underground scene came in.
    Mercenaries does not need to be capitolized. It is a common noun.
    Obviously it had to be him, everything checked out.
    period
    The Planetists promise peace, but deliver it through fear, and murder, and a number of other abominations.
    Don't need that first and.
    “Maybe we will be, the question is, where do we go?”
    The first comma needs to be a period.

    You still need to figure out when to capitalize and where to put commas and periods around quotations. In general most things regarding your quotations needs to be sorted out. You also have a bit of a problem with pronouns and putting them with the subject of the sentence, rather than just flinging them out. However, the pronoun thing isn't that bad.

    I'm sorry to say that I don't have time to the most recent chapter. I have to go to class and do more peer reviewing. How ironic. I just want to say that htis story has kept me on my seat for the past three hours, even if my shoulders hurt a little bit.

  5. #30

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    VERY DESCRIPTIVE AND WELL DETAILED. That's the strong point that's consistent with you throughout every single chapter I have noticed. And you don't go overboard with detail which is a good skill to have.

    However! I'm getting bored with the constant speech. It's almost getting to be like a script for screenplay, rather than actual narrative writing and its quite bothersome. :[

    I appreciate that speech helps convey character development, humour, and you know, the mannerisms of specific characters, but you needn't dwell on that too much. I just think you need to concentrate more upon the narrating, to get the storyline down. It'd make things a lot clearer.

    Another disadvantage of the constant speaking between characters is the fact that I get confused with:
    (a) whose saying what
    and
    (b) what's happening in regards to the plot.

    I think you could delve further into specifics of the plot, primarily due to the fact that the speech tends to make the story more ambiguous. Maybe that's the desired effect you want, but I get confused by many things, and it doesn't help me obtain a clear and concise understanding of what's going on in the story as a whole.

    Finally, I think you know the main reason for me not liking this chapter. Yes. THE LENGTH. But that's not a bad thing, so whatever. Waste of time typing that really.

    Having said all that, I haven't even read the whole chapter yet, because it's taking me fucking ages. I was reading it yesterday as well, but I got bored half way down. I get really confused with a lot of things as well, which causes me to keep re-reading earlier sections, especially when there are many characters in the chapter.

    ...And I'm the only negative critic. Well that's fanbloodytastic.
    The truth is that I'm a bad person. But, that's gonna change - I'm going to change. This is the last of that sort of thing. Now I'm cleaning up and I'm moving on, going straight and choosing life. I'm looking forward to it already. I'm gonna be just like you. The job, the family, the fucking big television. The washing machine, the car, the compact disc and electric tin opener, good health, low cholesterol, dental insurance, mortgage, starter home, leisure wear, luggage, three piece suite, DIY, game shows, junk food, children, walks in the park, nine to five, good at golf, washing the car, choice of sweaters, family Christmas, indexed pension, tax exemption, clearing gutters, getting by, looking ahead, the day you die.

  6. #31
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    However! I'm getting bored with the constant speech. It's almost getting to be like a script for screenplay, rather than actual narrative writing and its quite bothersome. :[
    I tried to cut down on that in this chapter, although I met a bit of a wall when i realised that I needed some speech to convey what was going on, it's, well, you'll see eventually.

    Also, thanks very much for the review I_W, going back through some of the earlier chapters, it's pretty evident there too, I think I'll maybe re-write some of it in time, now that you've brought that to light.

    Sike: I'm really glad you like the characters, especially snorf. I figured I'd add him in there because, well, I'm not sure, I guess it helped to convey the types of people that habit High Charity. Considering it seems he was quite the hit though, he'll be making more appearances. Thanks for reading

    Psi: I've been writing this as you've been writing your fic, and I guess, i dunno, a lot of the ideas you included in yours were quite a bit of inspiration, heh. Thanks for reading :O

    ANYWAY, without further ado, Chapter 012 is here, and well, everything goes a bit, well, I'll let you read and let you make that one up for yourself. Bah, I want to get on writing the next chapter now, I've been planning it for so long, it's finally here and waiting to be written. Also, I'm sorry for the length of time it's taken for me to get this chapter up, with so much going on irl, and Christmas, and everything else, I honestly just haven't had the time to write, it's either been that or... I dunno, just didn't feel like it I guess, either way, I apologise, and I'm keeping you, so I'll shut up! Enjoy~

    -Josh
    -----------------------------------

    Chapter 012: Be just or be dead.

    The soldiers ran forward, with reach struggling to keep up with the pace at which they ran. All around them the corridor rumbled, and red lights flashed. The woman’s voice from the palace computer system could still be heard ringing in all of Reach’s ears. They seemed to have been running without any real direction for some time, however eventually the group of soldiers turned into an air dock. All around were warships taking off, and the hot blasts of engines caused the temperature of the area to become extremely high.

    “This is insane, how many ships are there in the High Charity fleet!?” Gala shouted, the intense noise of the engines practically drowning his voice in an abyss of sound.

    “As far as I’m aware it’s around seventy thousand.” Edge replied, also having to raise his voice, so much so that his throat hurt as he finished his sentence. Mikoto decided to abandon shouting over the engines and pointed over at a large red ship. Beatrix nodded and pointed Edge and Gala to the ship. The engines were silent, and nobody was there to guard it. Emblazoned on the side was the name “Angel Tears.” The sleek design of the ship accompanied with the vast array of weapons placed upon it made it look extremely formidable. The hatch leading into it was open, and Reach jolted forward, running inside.

    Mikoto was the last to enter the Angel Tears, and immediately searched for a button to close the entry hatch. She found it relatively quickly, and as the hatch closed, the noise from outside in the dock was quickly drowned out. The inside of the ship lit up, and sure enough, it was completely empty. The group proceeded forwards, quickly finding the cockpit, with chairs for at least twelve people. Mikoto took up the position of pilot and sat down, looking over the dashboard of the ship. Gala, Beatrix and Edge strapped themselves into the seats situated closest to the pilot area.

    “Beatrix, you sit in the co-pilot seat, I’ll need a hand, gala and Edge, can you two find the weapons systems and see if you can make head or tail of them? The control panels are pretty easy to navigate if they’re anything like these, and if not, then there’re two turrets to the left and right.” Mikoto asked, confident in her ability to navigate and pilot the ship. The other members of Reach did as they were requested, with Edge and Gala taking place in either of the turrets. Mikoto began pressing several keys on the dashboard, and the ship suddenly came to life, as the jolt of the engines shook them all.

    “You sure you know what you’re doing kid?” Beatrix asked, smiling at Mikoto.

    “You can tell me when we get outside, check it out, the battle’s already begun. Looks like Solar sent their air fleet out first.” Mikoto grinned and nodded in the direction of the dock exit, sure enough, clearly visible in the skies of High Charity, a battle had begun, with explosions and weaponry flying through the air.

    “We’re going to fucking die.” Beatrix whimpered, looking at the war zone outside.

    “Oh come on boss,” Gala voice came over the intercom, “Mikoto’s captain, we’ve got nothing to worry about.”

    “Yes Beatrix, he’s right, we’ll be fine.” Edge replied, his voice crackling over the intercom between the turrets and the cockpit.

    “Actually I agree with Beatrix, we’re going to die.” Mikoto replied, her voice was plain and toneless.

    “Are you f
    ucking kidding?” Gala shouted.

    “Yes” came Mikoto’s reply, before the ship took off and blasted through the dock entrance. The members of Reach were pulled back into their seats thanks to the speed at which they were going.

    “You know Mikoto, those jokes get old fast.” Beatrix sighed, smiling at the seventeen year old.

    “Yeah but you still fall for ‘em, eheh…” Mikoto laughed. Beatrix shrugged and looked out of the cockpit window; Mikoto was flying through a battlefield towards the coastline of High Charity. A large portion of the wall had been blown apart, and the Solar fleet continued to flood through it.

    “Fuck this, we’re not going to find an opening if we’re flying in the opposite direction to the way they’re coming in!” Gala screamed, the intercom speaker almost bursting due to the volume.

    “Oh yeah and this is coming from he who was, just three seconds ago, confident in my flight skills!” Mikoto replied, a huge smile spread across her face. However the expression suddenly changed as they neared the opening in the great wall. A second surge of the Solar fleet had began pouring through, it was bottlenecked almost entirely, an opening would be extremely difficult to find.

    “Hey… why are we even leaving High Charity? The battle is here… isn’t it?” Edge mused; his voice was incredibly calm considering the crisis at hand.

    “We’re going for the capital ship, which is still above the ocean as far as I can tell.” Mikoto replied, before pushing forward and causing the Angel Tears to accelerate. “When I say, concentrate your weapons fire directly in front of my flight path. Beatrix, you’ve got control of the prime cannon, so charge it now, if I’m right by the time it’s at maximum capacity we should be just in front of the bottleneck.”

    “How do you know all this?” Beatrix asked. Her eyes were full of awe at how well Mikoto had been able to grasp the ships control in a very short amount of time.

    “Because I’m awesome.”

    “Oh that makes sense then, so I just press this here to charge the prime cannon?”

    “Yeah, oh and use the stick next to it to keep your aim steady, see the screen? That’s where you’re aiming; keep the crosshair parallel to the nose of the ship.” Mikoto pointed to a small screen on the dashboard of the Angel Tears, and Beatrix nodded, preparing the Prime Cannon. The intercom crackled to life and Gala’s voice came though;

    “Hey Mikoto, I don’t know if you noticed but um, WE’RE UNDER FIRE.”

    “THEN RETALIATE DIPS
    HIT.” Mikoto shouted back through the intercom, before witnessing an array of bullets erupt from the two turrets containing Edge and Gala. Ahead a large purple ship erupted into flames as Gala sent two large missiles to connect with its hull. Mikoto lunged the ship forward once more, and flew right through where the Solar ship had just exploded.

    “We’re coming up to the bottleneck you two, so start firing directly ahead of me, Beatrix, how much charge is left?” Mikoto asked, looking over to Beatrix whilst keeping the ship at top speed.

    “Five seconds.”

    “Fire as soon as it’s ready.”

    Mikoto pushed the Angel tears to its limit and the roar of the engines could even be heard through the near-soundproof hull. The Prime Cannon launched and a large beam of white hot energy burst from the cannon at the bottom of the ship, searing through the air, and causing the ships ahead to explode in a spectacular lightshow. Gala and Edge continued to fire directly ahead, sending missiles as the auto-reload allowed, and Mikoto flew blindly into the midst of exploding ships. She gritted her teeth as the ship began to come under heavy turbulence from the air disturbance outside, and seconds later the Angel Tears screeched out of the bottleneck on the opposite side. Sure enough, as Mikoto predicted, the Divinity capital ship was directly ahead. Smaller ships swarmed around it as slowly closing in on the city. Behind the Angel tears, several other High Charity warships had came through the opening, and came alongside Reach as support. The comm. screen directly above the dashboard crackled to life as the captain of one of the High Charity ships began to talk to Reach.

    “What an excellent display that was!” A familiar voice came, as the image materialised on the screen. “Hello again, friends of the council!”

    “Reich!” Beatrix cried, looking at the familiar face of the alien on the screen.

    “Indeed. Mikoto, I must say I am impressed with your flying, me and my ships here will supply you some back up for your attack on the capital ship, good luck. We may not be… what was the word? Ah, we may not be fucked just yet.” Reach smiled and the screen went blank, Mikoto and Beatrix looked at each other and stifled a laugh at his choice of language.

    “Well, gotta admit, nice of them to say that, and support us too, didn’t expect anyone would follow us through that death trap.”

    “Yeah,” Mikoto replied, “What do we do when we get the capital ship though? We’re almost underneath it…”

    “I have an idea.” Gala’s voice came once more, “We board it, and we take out whatever a
    sshole Divinity commander is on board it, then we blow it to shit.”

    “Slow down Gala, we don’t want to be too hasty.” Beatrix replied, rolling her eyes at the suggestion.

    “Actually, I agree, that’s the only chance we’ve got. Considering the amount of weaponry that’s probably got, we either board, or we get blown out of the sky.” Mikoto answered, shrugging her shoulders.

    “See, I’m right, captain says so.” Gala teased, causing Beatrix to roll her eyes once more.

    “Fine, let’s go then.” She replied, leaning back in her seat as Mikoto accelerated the Angel Tears forward once more. The Capital Ship began laying fire down on Reach and the support ships as they drew closer, and Mikoto had to manoeuvre very accurately to dodge the oncoming fire. The ship was hit several times on the advance, however for the most part the Angel Tears remained unscathed. One of the support ships exploded right in front of their eyes as they drew closer, and the sheer size of the ship could be truly appreciated. The Angel tears paled in comparison to how big it was, there were few weapon systems on the lower hull, so their flight was made considerably easier as they approached a dock onto the ship.

    As the Angel Tears entered the dock, several alarms went off and the doors through which the ship had entered closed. Mikoto landed the ship and shut down the engines, before opening the boarding hatch and allowing the members of Reach to exit. The alarms were deafening, and opposite where the friends stood a large door began to open, before several soldiers rushed out and stood opposite Reach.

    “Are they soldiers?” Gala asked, looking across the dock.

    “Yeah, looks like it… why?” Mikoto replied.

    “Well, they don’t have weapons.” Gala said, raising his eyebrows. Sure enough, the soldiers didn’t carry any weapons, and were lightly armoured. Reach counted that seven had entered the dock, and only a few more seconds passed before the soldiers jumped across and landed behind Reach, before launching an attack using only their fists.

    “All action and no thought make Jack a dull boy!” Beatrix shouted, swinging round her sword Eve, and causing one of the soldiers to be sliced clean in half. The other soldiers stopped, as did Mikoto, Gala and Edge, to look at the screaming mess Beatrix had left in her wake. No blood had left the body of the soldier; instead a colourless liquid had simply been spilt on the floor, and had begun to take a life of its own. The puddles grew into stumps, and then slowly those stumps grew, taking the form of a man. As the liquid pillars began to solidify, it became apparent as to what had just happened – the two halves of the soldier had regenerated into two new soldiers.

    “What…” Beatrix began, before losing her voice.

    “Oh man that is so f
    ucking cool.” Gala cried, grinning at what he had just witnessed.

    “It’s… a water elemental.” Edge whispered. His voice was struck with awe.

    “You like our new soldiers then, mercenaries?” came a familiar voice from the doorway on the other side of the dock, Reach and the soldiers turned to see whom the speaker was. Creed stood at the doorway with his arms folded, and a smile spread across his face. The general had cut his hair, and it was now short, spiked up in places, he looked years younger. Gone too, was his eye patch, in its place was a new eye, which gleamed slightly red against the lights of the dock.

    “Well then, feel like explaining what you’re all doing on my ship?” Creed asked. Reach looked upwards as the soldiers, which now counted as eight, jumped behind the general and stood motionless, lifeless almost, Beatrix thought.

    “More like do you feel like explaining what your raggedy ass fleet is doing here in High Charity!” gala retorted, causing Mikoto to stifle a laugh.

    “Why, we’re making sure that nobody steps out of line. We are Divinity, we are the truth, and we need to save as many people as we can.” Creed replied, his voice was extremely calm.

    “And invading a country… no, a continent, a continent that was up until recently an ally to Solar… that’s how you go about it? Your message of truth is a lie; it’s a message of fear, if that is the case.” Edge responded. He glowered at Creed and held his hand close to his gun.

    “And you’d know all about that I’m sure, wouldn’t you Edge?” Creed laughed, “We’re saving people from suffering. Through death, everything ends, and everything is as everything was. We’re just a revolving circle, and we need not be here. We’re here, then we die, we come and we go. It’s the same for everyone.”

    “That’s not true!” Mikoto shouted, “Everyone deserves the chance to live a full life!”

    “Hmm… a full life? Oh, and I suppose all the people in Solar, who are dying alone, poverty stricken, and lost without a cause… that is their life, surely the only way they can truly be happy is through letting that pain, that suffering, come to its end.” Creed sighed, “People live in constant fear, nothing in this world is ever as it seems, nothing… except the truth of Divinity. The truth that through death, you will be saved by the very world you live upon. That is what gives these people hope. Going against this… that is the same as living without hope… and living without hope is nothing short of pure suffering. Don’t you see? High Charity is a lost city without this belief. They require saving… and so do you all, heretics.”

    “If High Charity is a city lost, and has no hope for the future…” Beatrix started.

    “Then explain why they’re out here making sure you don’t wipe them out?” Mikoto finished.

    “If you ask me,” Gala said, “you’re just worried that they might attack you. Though that still doesn’t make much sense, as from what I’ve gathered, High Charity is a nation of peace. The truth behind this all is that Divinity is corrupted, and you’re just using a direct force to get people to obey what you say. All you want is this planet to yourselves.”

    “This is our planet.” Creed replied, “This is the planet given to the followers of the faith. Respect the planet that gave itself to you, and follow the faith. If you do not, then it is the job of Divinity to expel you from this world, save you from your mistakes, and enlighten you to the truth. Death is not the end… the planet is a forever going wheel. We are those that turn this wheel, and cause time to flow. In death you give new life, new life is new hope, new life is that which will follow the faith. A world that does not believe in the planet as its truth is not a world the planet wished to provide. Divinity are those that know this truth, and as I said, going against it means you must be saved from your mistakes.”

    “You’re full of s
    hit.” Beatrix shouted once more, drawing out Eve and pointing the tip of the blade towards Creed.

    “Hydrus was a respectable leader. You and your democracy have ruined the peace of Solar.” Edge stated, pulling out his gun and loading several rounds into the barrel, before holding it across his shoulder.

    “A fucking dictatorship was better than your bullshit.” Gala cried, placing his hands upon his guns and looking up at Creed once more, “High Charity has the right idea, but you guys can’t do shit. You’re all the same, selfish assholes.”

    “Yeah, and besides,” Mikoto began, drawing her sword and looking beside Creed at the soldiers, who still remained completely motionless, “Death leaves no options. Life does. You’re ‘saving’ people from making themselves into what they wanna be, you’re ‘saving’ people from what they want to do, and most of all, you’re ‘saving’ people from getting in your way.”

    “And so the heretics still choose to disagree with the truth. So be it. You elementals, do your thing.” Creed stepped back as the eight soldiers landed in front of the four members of Reach. Gala went to jump across to Creed, however as he did so three of the soldiers caught him in mid air, and threw him crashing to the ground. He felt his arm come under heavy pressure, and felt as if it was about to break, when he regained himself and jumped up, landing gracefully and checking his arm. A large gash had appeared down the right of it, and blood began a steady flow, dripping to the floor. He turned and looked at the soldiers. The three that had knocked him out of the air approached him, standing a lot taller than they were originally. He pulled out his two guns and shot at them, the bullets flew right through the bodies of the soldiers and nearly hit Mikoto, causing her to jump back in shock and be caught off guard by two of the elemental soldiers on the other side of the room.

    “Well that fucking sucks.” Gala said to himself, before jumped across the room to the aid of his friend.

    Meanwhile, Beatrix had engaged in battle with two of the soldiers, each slice with her sword managed to cut them in half, which only served to cause more to be born. After around 16 soldiers surrounded her, she replaced her sword and jumped into the air in an attempt to escape being enclosed by the soldiers. However as she jumped, the soldiers followed, and she found herself being flung through the air by a well aimed punch to her stomach. As she crashed against the wall, she felt the wind being knocked out of her, she couldn’t stand. As she lay, trying to fight the overwhelming desire to fall asleep, she heard Creed laugh and say something about the soldiers, though she could no longer hear too well.

    As gala had found out earlier, Edge too was finding that his gun had no affect whatsoever on the bodies of the soldiers, as they too sailed right through, leaving no entry or exit wound whatsoever. Still the three soldiers he was up against advanced. He replaced his gun and looked around the room; Mikoto and Gala were being attacked by the same number of soldiers as he was. He looked across to Beatrix, she lay on the floor, in between consciousness and unconsciousness. He quickly darted over and turned to find that the sixteen soldiers Beatrix had ended up creating were advancing upon them both. He picked her up and jumped across to Mikoto and Gala, who had been pinned down at the exit of the dock. The Angel Tears was still in the middle of the room.

    Gala had begun to really feel the pain in his arm mount up, and fell to the floor. He felt dizzy, and concluded that he had lost a fair amount of blood. Mikoto and Edge were the only ones relatively uninjured. Suddenly, Edge had an idea, however by now the soldiers, that now counted around 22, had formed a tight semicircle around the four friends. He looked across at Mikoto, who had Gala held upright.

    “Mikoto, run back to the ship as soon as you can and fire up the engines, we need heat.” Edge said to her. Mikoto looked at him momentarily and then realised what he meant. She nodded and placed Gala down upon the floor, drawing her sword. She ran at two of the soldiers and sliced her way through them both, they regenerated into four soldiers and gave chase. The entry ramp of the Angel Tears was still down, as luck would have it, and she found herself within the ship after only a few seconds. She darted to the cockpit and pushed down the engine ignition button, the ship rumbled and the jets at the back end flared up. She looked behind her to see if the four soldiers had followed her into the ship – they hadn’t. Quickly she ran back out and saw that they had returned to the formation surrounding her friends. The air of the dock was quickly heating up as the engines continued to burn. Creed was still stood at the door of the dock, his arms were folded across his chest and he was looking directly at the other three members of Reach. Mikoto realised that she had no chance against the soldiers, as any cut would just cause more of them to be born, so instead she drew her sword and went for Creed.

    Creed turned and was caught by surprise by Mikoto running at him with her sword drawn. He smiled slightly and drew his own scimitar, the crimson red blade shimmering in the light of the dock. Mikoto jumped through the air and brought the blade down onto Creed, as she did so he lifted his scimitar up and blocked the slice with great ease. Mikoto jumped back and landed opposite the general. She stood for a moment before beginning a second attack.

    Meanwhile across the other side of the room the soldiers still stood around Beatrix, Edge and Gala, however Edge had noticed a slight change in their anatomy since the engines began. What once was a solid block that was made of water had begun to drip slightly, and puddles were forming at the feet of the soldiers. As he looked around at his companions it became clear to him that they had been punched at some point, but water would have just splashed off their faces as it did when it was sliced. He looked up at the soldiers once more, at first his idea was to try and simply evaporate them, but as he looked at the puddles surrounding their feet, and at how motionless they stood, he suddenly caught on to what they did.

    “They alternate between being a liquid and a solid… they can change their body from ice into water or vice versa at will… they’re melting…” He thought to himself. Almost as if it were on cue, the soldier closest to the engines collapsed and became nothing more than mere water, a puddle upon the floor. The other soldiers paid no attention to this and continued to stand completely motionless, they did not seem aware that they were melting. Edge then recalled how the soldiers fought, they weren’t trying to kill any of the members of Reach, and all through it they attempted to pin them down in a corner of the room.

    “They only follow direct orders…” Edge mused to himself, satisfied with the explanation. He sat down and explained the entire thing to Gala and Beatrix, who seemed to relax at the thought of the threat being minimal. Then, Gala sat upright and his eyes widened.

    “Where the hell is Mikoto?” he cried, startling Beatrix and Edge. The three of them looked around the room, and saw Mikoto and Creed locked in a fight.

    “We need to help her!” Beatrix cried, suddenly feeling the energy returning to her body. She drew out eve once more and proceeded to slice through the soldiers, the same way Mikoto had left the circle. As she did so she shouted back to Edge,

    “Stay here with Gala, we’ll not be too long!”

    Edge silently agreed and looked over at Galas wound. His arm had stopped bleeding as heavily, however Gala had suddenly taken to looking quite ill. Edge fumbled around in his pocket and pulled out a small box. He opened it up and retrieved a large bandage from within. He moved over to gala and began fixing the bandage on his arm; Gala simply sat and slowly felt himself go into a sleep.

    Beatrix approached the fight between Mikoto and Creed, and jumped across to join her friend. Creed simply smiled as he blocked another strike from Mikoto, and turned to face Beatrix.

    “Want to be saved too, do you? So be it.” He whispered, and jumped into the air. He pointed his palm down at the two friends and a small ball lit up around half a centimetre away from it. Mikoto and Beatrix looked up, startled by this new ability Creed had begun to display. A second later they realised what was coming and dived out of the way, as the ball of energy shot from his hand and exploded where, seconds ago, they had just stood. Creed landed and swung out his Scimitar once more, before launching a direct attack at Mikoto.

    It was at this point in time that Beatrix came to realise how expert a fighter Mikoto had became. Creed launched a severe flurry of strikes and she defended each one with a serene grace, before slicing at creed, and causing him to fall back. Mikoto then jumped up and brought her sword down, almost striking Creed’s face, had he not blocked it by quickly bringing up his scimitar. Beatrix could have sworn she saw a grin flash across Mikoto’s face as she jumped back once more, and defended herself from yet another attack from Creed. As the two continued to fight, Beatrix wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, part of her wanted to help Mikoto, part of her was telling her that this wasn’t her fight and that she shouldn’t interfere, and part of her had suddenly became scared of how much power Mikoto had began to display.

    Across the other side of the room, Edge and Gala really began to feel the heat of the Angel tears’ engines, though not nearly as much as the soldiers had. By now all but one furthest away from the engines had become nothing but liquid upon the floor, and soon enough that soldier too melted away into nothing. Edge stood and picked Gala up, carrying him over to the ship and placing him upon one of the small beds within. He then left the ship and quickly joined Beatrix. He looked at her with a stroke of wonder as to why she had not gotten involved in the fight with Creed, and then looked over at where Mikoto and Creed stood, and suddenly realised for himself.

    Mikoto and Creed had locked each other together, pressing their blades against one another and leaning forward. Mikoto seemed to have the upper hand, but an explosion of energy from Creed took her by surprise and pushed her back, however she regained her posture completely and lunged forward once more, pushing Creed to the floor. By now he was the one being taken by surprise. He looked up at Mikoto as his eyes met hers. Within them he saw something not unlike he had only ever seen once before, but he couldn’t remember where. What lay in her eyes was similar to whatever it was, but in the same way completely different. It was a passion, and her eyes almost seemed to dance with a flame of this. He shook off the feeling of awe and erupted once more with energy, this time causing Mikoto to fly across the room. However she landed gracefully upon her feet, and smirked at the Divinity general.

    Creed looked across at her for a moment before putting away his sword and nodding. He then drew from his belt a small black object, and threw it into the air. Seconds later, before Mikoto, Beatrix or Edge could realise what it was, it erupted into a blinding flash of light, and emptied smoke into the dock. Creed quietly slipped away in the commotion that followed. Eventually the smoke cleared and Mikoto, Beatrix and edge found each other. Mikoto replaced her weapon and smiled at her two companions.

    “Do we get to blow this thing to hell now?” she asked, grinning at Beatrix.

    “Uhh…” Beatrix started, she was still awestruck at the display Mikoto had just put on, what surprised her even more is how calm she was, even after the fight, she seemed like she hadn’t lost any energy whatsoever, whereas Creed on the other hand looked absolutely done in.

    “Yeah, we can. Although, how?” Beatrix concluded her sentence and raised her eyebrows at Mikoto, who pointed over at the Angel Tears’ hull.

    “See those hatches underneath?” Mikoto asked.

    “Yeah” Beatrix replied, looking at where the young girl was pointing.

    “They’ve got some nice toys in them, I figure anyway, there were a few weapon controls next to my seat, and the only thing we weren’t firing earlier was missiles, other ships from the High Charity fleet were.” Mikoto smiled and walked over to the entrance of the ship, “come on I’ll show you, we’ll need to be quick about it though. This place is going to go boom.”

    Beatrix and Edge glanced at each other and walked over to the ship. As they entered the hatch closed and Mikoto sat in the pilot seat, pressing buttons here and there. She looked around and motion for them to grab a seat once more. Beatrix then felt the ship jolt, as if taking off.

    “Edge, you know the entry to the dock? It’s kinda closed…” Mikoto said.

    “Yes, I know it is.” Edge replied, a hint of curiosity striking his voice.

    “Well, I was wondering if you could jump into one of the turrets… and unclose it. Beatrix could give you a hand by using the other turret.” Mikoto grinned.

    “Wait aren’t you gonna blow up this ship from the inside?” Beatrix asked, looking at Mikoto.

    “Well yeah but we kinda need an escape route.” Mikoto answered, enticing a nod of agreement from Beatrix. Doing what Mikoto had asked, Edge and Beatrix sat themselves down in the turrets and began firing at the dock’s entrance. A few minutes later the alarm bell began sounding in the dock as the door blew off into the skies. Beatrix’ voice crackled through the intercom, allowing Mikoto to know that everything was clear.

    As Mikoto began to edge the ship backwards out of the dock, the weapons hatches on the bottom of the ship opened up, and sure enough, on the screen came up the controls for whatever they were. Mikoto gasped at the discovery of what these weapons were, and smiled at the screen, blowing up the capital ship was going to be much easier. The screen read;

    Prototype Nuclear Weapon launch.

    Warhead A: Online.
    Warhead B: Online.
    Warhead C: Online.
    Warhead D: Online.

    Warning: Detonation of warheads will occur forty seconds after they contact a solid surface.
    Warning: Range from ground zero is one mile.
    Warning: After launch, please remove all persons from this range.

    “Holy… f
    uckwin… nuclear weapons…” Mikoto whispered to herself, “this is going to be a lot easier.”

    Without hesitation, Mikoto launched two of the warheads and shot the ship out of the dock. The timer read on the screen that thirty seconds remained. Mikoto pushed the ship forwards, and sent the Angel tears’ racing back towards the city of High Charity. Twenty seconds. All throughout the skies, the battle raged on, explosions were a lot more frequent, and missiles shot through the air at all sorts of angles, Mikoto ignored everything and continued racing back towards the city, carefully manoeuvring around debris, and all manner of projectiles. Ten seconds. Mikoto checked the ships radar and looked back at where the capital ship was, she was relieved to see that no High Charity ships were within a mile of the capital ship. Five seconds. Mikoto swung the ship around and shouted Beatrix and Edge to look through the cockpit at the Capital Ship, as a bright white light engulfed it, starting from the bottom, and a moment later, erupted into an explosion that stretched high into the sky.

    “What did you… do?” Beatrix stuttered, looking at the mushroom cloud that continued to rise into the skies. Fighting all around the Angel Tears stopped as ships hovered, looking at the explosion.

    “I… I nuked it.” Mikoto replied.

    The screen came to life, as General Reich appeared smiling, if you could call it that, his alien face contorted in so many ways it looked rather scary.

    “I’m going to assume that what we can all see is the work of you four?” the general asked, his voice booming with glee.

    “That’s be right, sir.” Mikoto replied, raising her hand to her forehead and saluting the general of High Charity.

    “HAH!” Reich snorted, “You’re magnificent, simply magnificent, and the council will be singing your praises! Welcome to High Charity you Solar, uh… Mother Fuckers!” Reich’s screen went dead and Beatrix burst out laughing, once more at his choice of words. Edge simply looked on at the explosion of the Divinity capital ship, that had now began to fade down a little, and what was left of the ship could be seen, losing altitude and falling into the ocean.

    “You know the best part?” Mikoto asked, looking up at Beatrix and Edge, who both returned her gaze and shrugged. “Gala didn’t get to see this.” Mikoto laughed.

    “Au contrare, I saw it all, I’ve been stood here for a while, ever since I felt you speeding this thing up like that.” Gala replied, taking everyone by surprise. He then laughed along with Mikoto

    What High Charity ships there were on the ocean side of the great wall had began to retreat back to the city, and Mikoto sharply followed. Whatever was left of the Divinity fleet seemed to have disappeared, along with the wreckage of the capital ship, which now slowly sank to the bottom of the ocean. Mikoto flew slowly back to the dock from which they had emerged in the ship, giving herself time to look at the city below. The sun had begun setting, and twilight had engulfed this part of High Charity. The palace ahead lit up and stood out against the darkening sky like a colossal giant, standing guard over the city, and indeed the continent, of High Charity.

    End of chapter 012.
    Last edited by PLANES CURE TOWERS; 10th January 2007 at 8:05 AM.

  7. #32
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    “All action and no thought make Jack a dull boy!” Beatrix shouted, swinging round her sword Eve, and causing one of the soldiers to be sliced clean in half. The other soldiers stopped, as did Mikoto, Gala and Edge, to look at the screaming mess Beatrix had left in her wake. No blood had left the body of the soldier; instead a colourless liquid had simply been spilt on the floor, and had begun to take a life of its own. The puddles grew into stumps, and then slowly those stumps grew, taking the form of a man. As the liquid pillars began to solidify, it became apparent as to what had just happened – the two halves of the soldier had regenerated into two new soldiers.

    “What…” Beatrix began, before losing her voice.

    “Oh man that is so ****ing cool.” Gala cried, grinning at what he had just witnessed.
    …That it was. o_o The water elementals added a rather cool…aspect to the fight. (Ha, avoided the “e” word and thus avoided a pun. ^^) I figured they’d be cool, though, from the moment that elementals were first mentioned. ^^

    Also cool were Creed’s energy bombs. And, of course, I enjoyed the nice, big satisfying explosion of the capital ship there at the end. =)

    Some classic dialogue once again, such as this:

    “We’re going for the capital ship, which is still above the ocean as far as I can tell.” Mikoto replied, before pushing forward and causing the Angel Tears to accelerate. “When I say, concentrate your weapons fire directly in front of my flight path. Beatrix, you’ve got control of the prime cannon, so charge it now, if I’m right by the time it’s at maximum capacity we should be just in front of the bottleneck.”

    “How do you know all this?” Beatrix asked. Her eyes were full of awe at how well Mikoto had been able to grasp the ships control in a very short amount of time.

    “Because I’m awesome.”
    “Because I’m awesome” is an answer that always amuses me. X3

    Although…I have to say, when it comes to priceless dialogue, Reich took the cake this time. There’s nothing that compares to a reptilian/insectoid alien dropping f-bombs. XP
    DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
    (Or do. I don't actually mind.)
    The Origin of Storms | Communication

  8. #33
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    A little on the short side, but sweet nonetheless. Water elementals, kickass mushroom clouds, and even a ship battle. I do think you could have gone into a little more detail on the clash between the two fleets and such. But yeah, keep up the good work. And yeah, I FINALLY got around to posting a review.
    Gone.

    http://psiumbreon.livejournal.com/82372.html

  9. #34
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    Well... it's been a month, and I figure I've kept you waiting. I've been at much work though, and the latest chapter is the longest yet, and my personal favourite. CHapter 014 is in the works at the moment, and from the looks of things it'll probably be just as long, if not longer than this chapter. I've gotten to the point in the story I most wanted to write, and it just seems liek I can't stop adding things here and there to chapters until they become, as you can see, huge. Thanks for the reviews you guys left me, they're as ever appreciated, and well umm, that's it. So without further ado...

    -----------

    Chapter 013: Black Holes, and the revelation of things to come.

    “I shouldn’t have expected any less.”

    A familiar voice met Reach as the four companions entered their quarters. They had met up with the council briefly upon returning, however not a lot was said other than that each member of the council was ever grateful for their exploits and that, unsurprisingly, it seemed as though the entire Solar fleet had vanished from High Charity airpace. Now though, looking right at them was their biggest surprise since entering High Charity.

    “It’s been a little while, hasn’t it? Surprised to see me too, I can tell.”

    Sage sat, as always, nearby a large window. His face was lit up by the bright lights of the room, and his old features wrinkled into what was undoubtedly a smile. Beatrix, Mikoto, Gala and Edge stood speechless for a moment, their jaws slightly open at who it was sitting opposite them.

    “H… how did you…?” Beatrix started. Sage raised his hand and shook his head, smiling once more.

    “Reunion, the club, was attacked. It’s no longer there anymore. Do not worry, Mary and everyone else is safe. They too, are here. I imagine Mary and Pepper are together in that marketplace on the ground level of this magnificent structure. I’ve often read about High Charity. Once, I even visited, alas that was centuries ago, and the memory of the day is of now eluding my grasp. I suppose you are wondering how on earth we got here… well… lets just say that I’m a lot more than what meets the eye. Living as long as I have, you tend to learn… certain things. Only… 72 years until I become a millennium in age… seems so close, even though seventy two is often a lifetime! Ah, but I am talking a little too much, pray tell, how are you all?” Sage smiled as he finished speaking and looked at each member of Reach in turn. He seemed to mutter something about growth under his breath but none of the four friends could catch it.

    “…Reunion was attacked?” Mikoto sighed. “Well, so long as everyone is alright I suppose… still, Gala spent a lot of money on allowing us to rebuild that place… shame to see it go to waste. Hey actually, where is that money Gala?”

    “Oh I have about a quarter of it here; the rest of it is probably ashes now. Oh well, money’s not a big deal.” Gala smiled and looked at Sage. “Did you say Pepper was here too?”

    “Yes, I did.” Sage replied.

    “Fuck.” Gala’s smile changed to a look of discontent.

    “In answer to your question, we’re fantastic. I’ll assume you heard about what happened today considering, as you said, you shouldn’t expect anything less.” Beatrix grinned and continued, “I wonder if that’ll be the last we see of Creed though, I doubt anything could have survived what occurred…”

    “Damn straight it will be! Stupid moron didn’t even see it coming! We’ll…” Gala shouted, however his voice trailed as he looked out at the skies of High Charity. A large ball of energy had began rising into the skies, collecting in mass as it rose, it gently passed the window of the room in which the five friends stood, and continued it’s ascent into the skies.

    “What… the f
    uck…?” Mikoto whispered, as she watched the ball of energy pass the window. They walked over to the glass and looked upwards, the ball had stopped a few hundred feet above where they were and was collecting mass. Then the rumbling started, and thousands of feet below, a small blinking light could be seen directly below the energy mass. Sage, Beatrix, Mikoto, Edge and Gala all stood staring at the ball of energy, as it continued to swell. Eventually the swelling came to stop, and seconds later the ball erupted into a blinding flash of light, causing the friends to shield their eyes for a moment, before returning their gaze upwards as their eyes readjusted.

    “No way. We are not seeing this.” Gala shouted, as he held his mouth agape in awe at what his sight now held.

    “So they do exist then.” Sage whispered, so quietly that he could barely be heard. In the skies above High Charity, an enormous dragon slowly hovered, flapping its gigantic wings casually and surveying the city below. It looked somewhat mechanical; however upon closer inspection this would have revealed that what looked metallic were actually pure silver scales. Aside from those, the rest of the scales were an extremely dark crimson, almost touching on black. A single horn protruded from the forehead of the beast, and curled back over its head, looking like an enormous scythe. Its eyes, though small, were visible from the way they burned between bright red and orange. Each time it opened its mouth a small flicker of flame could be seen erupting from its throat.

    “What the hell is that thing?” Gala asked, to nobody in particular.

    “It’s an Apocali.” Sage replied.

    “You what?” Gala returned, looking confused at the word Sage had used.

    “An Apocali. They existed thousands of years ago, I thought the people that could call upon them had all but vanished from this world, apparently I, and around ten thousand other scholars, are mistaken… unless…” Sage frowned and looked up at the beast once more, “But what is an Apocali doing here, and more importantly, who called it…?”

    The palace began to rumble once more, the source of the rumbling was the beast. Its mouth opened and what appeared to be forming just inches away from its jaw was a large energy mass. It grew larger and larger as the dragon pulled its head back, and a moment later the energy was blasted directly into the palace, causing an explosion in the floors above where Reach currently were, and knocking Sage off his feet. Then the alarms started, and the room was plunged into darkness as the electricity cut off, and what was left of the sun set over the western horizon. The dragon had now begun winging its way through the skies, and blasting various parts of the palace with the shots of energy it produced. The palace continued to rumble, and the sound of the alarm seemed to grow louder with every explosion. Gala, Mikoto, Edge, Beatrix and Sage looked at one another, and then Beatrix smiled.

    “If you go, I will follow.” Edge said, and nodded at Beatrix.

    “I’m tired, but what the hell, one more for the road, right?” Gala smiled and he too, nodded at the leader of Reach. Mikoto simply smiled and nodded.

    “Then it’s settled, we’ll go back to the Angel Tears and see what we can do about this… what was it? Apocali.” Beatrix tapped her sword and looked at Sage, “What’re you gonna do?”

    “I will find Mary and Pepper, and ensure their safety, if anything were to happen to us, I will not let it. Old I may be, but far from useless.” Sage spoke with a certain air of authority. He raised his eyebrows at Beatrix, “You know what you’re doing?”

    “Of course we do.” Beatrix flicked back her hair, “We’re Reach.”

    “This is a force exceeding nature you’re dealing with, and as word of caution, you can’t launch any of those nukes inside the city walls.” With that, Sage left the room, walking slowly upon his walking stick. As he reached the door, he was knocked aside by a strange looking creature.

    “Sorry snorf! Snorf did not see you there sir, snorf!”

    “That’s alright.” Sage answered, and left.

    “Snorf is pleased to see nice people from fascism are still here, we need you, snorf!” Snorf spoke with certain urgency in his voice.

    “Yeah, we’re just on our way to the dock right now Snorf.” Beatrix told the alien, “Want to join us?”

    “Snorf would be honoured to help nice people! Snorf will prepare Angel Tears for you immediately, snorf! Snorf would also like to inform nice people that Angel Tears is now their ship, a gift from Reich for your… hrm…” Snorf paused.

    “Our what?” Mikoto asked.

    “Snorf is trying ot think of how Reich put it… oh yes snorf! The Angel Tears is a reward from Reich for your… ahem… fucking amazing exploits earlier today, snorf!” Smorf smiled, unaware of the obscenity he had just spoke. Mikoto stifled a laugh, as did Gala, whereas Beatrix smiled at Snorf.

    “Tell Reich that it is very much appreciated Snorf, and thank you for telling us. We’ll see you in the dock?” Beatrix asked.

    “Snorf is already there, snorf!” He shouted, and sped off at the amazing speed he had shown Reach he was capable of the first time they met. The four companions looked at each other and ran after the alien. Their ears had became used to the sound of the alarm, however the rumbling and explosions above never ceased, and the corridors were dark, as they still had no light within them. The only light came from outside, and each stairwell they passed. Several minutes passed and no words were spoken, before the group reached the dock. They had passed a lot of soldiers on their way, however even the soldiers were silent. Entering the dock, Snorf was already refuelling the ship, and smiled at the group as they ran over.

    “I just had a thought Beatrix.” Mikoto said.

    “What’s that then?” Beatrix replied.

    “Well, think about what Sage said, someone called the Apocali. Couldn’t it be that they might be controlling it too?” Mikoto answered, causing Beatrix to suddenly place herself in thought.

    “You’re right. What do we do then?” was Beatrix’ reply, several moments later.

    “Well… I guess two of us should take to the skies, and two of us should maybe find out who the caller is.” Mikoto paused, looking at Gala and Edge, “I’ll take Gala with me, you and Edge head down to the streets and see what you can find.”

    “You’re a smart kid Mikoto, see you soon I hope.” Beatrix smiled.

    “Yeah that comes from hanging around you too long, although being with Gala in the ship should balance it out.” Mikoto laughed and turned to Gala, who swore at her under his breath, causing yet more laughter.

    “Good luck.” Beatrix said, as she and Edge turned out of the dock and out of sight.

    “Where are two nice people going, snorf?” Snorf asked, looking up at Gala.

    “They’re gonna take the fight down below, see what they can find.” Gala replied. “Come on Mikoto, lets get rolling already.”

    “Yeah.” Mikoto nodded and entered the Angel Tears, followed by Gala and Snorf, who both sat behind Mikoto in the cockpit. The engines roared as Mikoto launched the ship out of the dock, and the three didn’t speak much as they winged their way through the skies above High Charity, and came up towards the dragon. Several High Charity ships had already engaged the beast in combat, however were coming up short on doing anything at all. The Apocali swiped through the air and swatted the ships away like flies; one by one High Charity’s air forces fell from the skies, and met their end in explosions that rained across the city.

    “So I’m thinking that this might not be a good idea anymore, thoughts?” Gala asked, his eyes were wide at what he was witnessing. Mikoto continued to speed towards the dragon; unsure of what she was going to do. Snorf simply sat looking at the carnage ahead, that they were coming ever closer to. Still, Mikoto thought. She couldn’t use the nukes – that’d wipe out a square mile of the city, and even then, was this thing even affected by conventional arms?

    The palace had taken quite a beating from the dragons’ attacks. Several parts of the palace were ripped apart completely, and fires rages across the entire building. Debris rained down onto the streets below, and several fires were occurring down there, too. Thought it couldn’t be heard as high as they currently were, if Mikoto, Gala and Snorf were to be in Edge and Beatrix’ position right now, they would be hearing the screams of people caught under the debris, or of those running from what was happening. But they couldn’t, and that horror was not theirs to be subject to.

    By now, the Angel Tears was upon the dragon, and no sooner than they had arrived, did Mikoto, Gala and Snorf find themselves evading enormous claws, and overwhelmed by the sheer size of the dragon. It had looked huge from a distance, but up close it was unreal. Each of its eyes was almost as large as the Angel Tears itself, and that said more than enough for the rest of it. Mikoto concentrated a lot of her fire on the eyes, however it was having no effect whatsoever, save for causing the beast a minor annoyance.

    “Gala, take the controls a second will you?” Mikoto shouted, pushing Gala into the seat.

    “What? Where are you going? Wait! I can’t fly this thing, F
    UCKING HELL MIKOTO!” Gala screamed, as the Angel Tears entered a nose dive. He pulled back on the controls as hard as he could, and pulled the ship out of its kamikaze run. Mikoto laughed and opened up the hatch of the ship, causing a blast of cold air to enter.

    “Get me close to the dragon Gala, and watch a professional.” Mikoto grinned. Gala eventually got the control of the ship together, and flew right over the dragons head, Mikoto jumped out of the hatch and landed upon the head of the beast. Gala and the Angel Tears flew off from the beast and flew around, Gala doing all he could to evade the swiped and energy blasts from the dragon. Mikoto pulled out her sword and smiled, before plunging the blade directly into the skull of the dragon. The dragon roared in pain and swung back violently, catching Gal off guard and sending him, Snorf, and the Angel Tears spinning through the air.

    “Fuck me!” Gala screamed, as he fought to regain control of the ship. Snorf simply sat with his eyes and mouth shut, trying the best he could to shut the spinning mess around him out. Eventually Gala regained control of the ship, however a damage report flashed upon the screen, and upon realisation that one of the engines had been struck, he gave up trying to continue the flight, and proceeded to take the ship back to the dock, wishing to himself and everything that he ever was for Mikoto to be alright, doing whatever the hell it was she was doing.

    Mikoto had removed her sword from the skull of the beast, and had continued to stab here and there across its head. Her eyes flashed with the same passion as they had in her fight with Creed, and she danced across the dragon, graceful and yet fierce. Once or twice she placed the sword into the eyes of the beast, causing it to lose altitude in the pain it was bearing. It swiped around; however its arms were too short for it to be able to reach the top of its head. Mikoto plunged her sword into the skull of the beast once more, and felt herself lose her footing. The dragon had begun descending against its own will, and she wasn’t going to have anything to stand on. She was going to fall to her death.

    She plunged downward, her arm reached out. If she could just grab onto her sword she might be able to secure herself on top of the beast. It was no good, she wasn’t falling as fast as it was, and the distance between them both was widening quickly. Wind rushed through her hair, and she could see the ground below slowly becoming more detailed. She streamlined her body and continued her dive. It was working; she and the dragon were closing in on each other. Her eyes began to water from the pressure being placed upon them as she fell, and she felt her face begin to sting. Shaking off the pain from her freefall, and the thoughts of what would happen if she couldn’t get a hold of herself in time; she continued to plummet, closer and closer to the dragon.

    She could hear it now, the screams of the people below. There must have only been around a thousand feet left she guessed. The dragon roared as it connected with an enormous tower block. That was good enough to slow the descent of the beast however, and Mikoto grabbed hold of her sword, and pulled herself onto the dragon. She held on for her life as below her, she could hear the tower block being crushed, and around her, the city slowly rising up. She realised that her descent was now slow. The dragon connecting with the tower block had ultimately saved her life, however she wondered if the same could be said for the citizens of High Charity inside, and around the area. She shook at that thought from her mind as the dragon eventually stopped falling. All around her, fires raged, the city was slowly but surely being demolished. The dragon roared and fell backwards. Was it dead? Time would tell that.

    “What do you think then?” A woman’s voice pierced the air and landed in Mikoto’s ears.

    “What?” Mikoto replied, shouting over the screaming.

    “What do you think of him?” Came the voice again, it was close. Mikoto felt as if it were stood right next to her. It wasn’t shouted, it was spoken, and it was so nearby. Mikoto felt something brush against her shoulder and turned, sure enough there was someone familiar stood beside her, facing the opposite direction.

    “Who are you?” Mikoto asked, unsure of whom this woman she recognised was.

    “Andromeda,” the woman replied, “come on, surely you didn’t forget me that quickly?”

    “I think the circumstances can excuse me.” Mikoto answered, “What’re you doing here? And what do you mean, ‘what do I think of him’?”

    “My Apocali, who else?” Andromeda laughed, and flicked her hair back. Mikoto couldn’t see any part of her aside from her long, fair hair.

    “This thing here is yours? As in, you called it?” Mikoto asked, her voice tainted with shock.

    “Yeah, didn’t see that one coming did you? Poor little useless Andromeda, right? Turns out she’s going to be the one that destroys the almighty High Charity. Oh by the way, what was your name, Mikoto? He’s far from dead, although I must admit you did give him a good round. Well, must dash, looks like your friends are almost here. Let’s make sure the crowd goes wild, hm?” With that, Andromeda disappeared as quickly as she appeared. Mikoto felt the dragon below her stir, and she lost her footing as it propelled itself back into the air at great speed. She lost grip of her sword and it sailed through the air, before sticking itself into the side of a building, a good fifty meters from where Mikoto was about to begin a long descent to the burning streets below.

    The dragon crushed a building, however they were still extremely high up, as Mikoto realised upon feeling gravity take its toll. The fires below came ever closer, and the heat began to build up. Mikoto closed her eyes and gritted her teeth, waiting for whatever fate she was about to be handed. The heat came flaring upwards, however she felt her body jerk to one side and then the direction of the wind against her face changed. She opened her eyes to see that she was now flying through the air, towards a large building.

    “What the f
    uck?” Mikoto whispered, and looked at her body. Someone was holding her waist tightly. She looked around and was met with the face of Gala.

    “Oh hi, I’m just returning a favour, how are you today?” Gala smiled and looked right ahead, before coming to a landing in the building. He let go of a rope ladder he had been holding onto, and it flew back out into the air. Mikoto looked at the rope ladder wondering what it was attached to, and then followed it upwards. Her eyes were met with the Angel Tears, which turned and flew back to the docks at the palace at great speed. She turned to look at Gala and pointed up at the ship, which was now a small dot in the fire tainted skies.

    “Turns out Snorf’s a pilot.” Gala said, reading the question dancing through her mind. “Now then, what’re we gonna do about that ****er up there? And where the hell is your sword?”

    “Um… I dropped it. It’s… up there.” She mumbled, and then pointed up at the wall of the building they now stood within. The sword was lodged in the wall around six storeys up.

    “Oh well that’s not so bad I guess, lets get it, and then figure out what we’re gonna do.” Wonder where Beatrix and Edge are…” Gala shrugged and proceeded to a stairwell, before motioning for Mikoto to follow. She ran up the stairs, taking them two at a time, and sure enough, her sword was up six storeys. She plucked it out of the wall and checked the blade, still as sharp as ever.

    “Wait.” Mikoto started, “Andromeda said Beatrix and Edge were below… then she left.”

    “What, Andromeda? The cute chick from the headquarters in Solar? She’s here?” Gala looked at Mikoto, a sudden urgency taking over his voice.

    “Stop thinking with your dick, damn. Yeah, she’s here, she’s the one that called our friend up there… hey shit, Beatrix and Edge might be in trouble. If she’s here then there’s no doubt…” Mikoto’s voice trailed, and she turned to Gala.

    “Carbine.” They both announced at the same time.

    “Lets go find them then.” Gala grinned, and ran down the stairs, followed swiftly by Mikoto. They reached the bottom of the building and ran out of the entrance onto the streets of High Charity. Everywhere around them fires raged and smoke bloomed out of buildings. Debris littered the streets, and the screams of the population could be heard, echoing through the air, and piercing at times. Mikoto and Gala looked into the skies. Above, a small speck of light could be seen, and then a second later a large shot of energy blasted down and struck the building that they were just inside. Gala and Mikoto ran as the building crumbled, and then exploded into a million pieces, raining debris down on them, and the rest of the street.

    As they ran past a car, a large chunk of concrete struck it, and it crumpled under the weight, before bursting into flames. Mikoto rolled her eyes and continued running, Gala stuck close by her, and looked around frantically. Where were Beatrix and Edge? The answer came soon enough, as the sound of gunshots rang through the streets - gunshots of a double barrel automatic shotgun. As Mikoto and Gala reached a junction, to their right were Beatrix and Edge, fending off a hoard of the green wolf-like monstrosities that they had not seen since their brawl in the bar, back in Solar. That seemed like a memory long since passed now.

    Another explosion came from nearby; the dragon had launched another attack. More screams followed, and a large crowd of people ran up towards where Beatrix and Edge were currently locked in a fight with the monsters. The crowd saw this, and quickly changed direction, before realising that the road Mikoto and Gala had came from was also blocked. The only escape was past the monsters. Mikoto and Gala looked at the crowd, and then ran towards their friends.

    “Well we might as well help them escape, yeah?” Gala shouted, pulling out his guns and loading them with the silver plated bullets custom made just for the weapon.

    “Of course, we better get paid though.” Mikoto smiled and drew her sword once more, before doubling her running speed. As they reached Beatrix and Edge, their leader smiled at them both, before being struck off guard by one of the beasts. The blow launched her across the street and she crashed into a blue dumpster.

    “Ouch, blue…” Gala cringed.

    “Yeah… human waste unit if it’s the same as Solar. Least she’s glad to see us.” Mikoto cringed slightly, and jumped into the fight.

    “Oh Mikoto?” Gala shouted, lacing one of the creatures with his guns.

    “Yeah?” Mikoto shouted, slicing into the tail of one of the creatures, and watching as it burned away into dust.

    “First one to kill ten buys the other a drink!” Gala smiled and shot two of the creatures in their tails, watching them burn away.

    “You two kids…” Edge sighed, and shot four of the creatures in the stomach, before jumping across to where they lay wounded, and punishing their tails with his shotgun. However, these creatures didn’t die. Their tails were blown off, however they didn’t burn away like the others had. Edge looked down in surprise, and as he stood, the four creatures on the floor jumped up and pinned him down to the floor. He shot upwards in surprise, however both of his shells missed, and he was pushed down into the hard concrete, before feeling the claws of one of the creatures cut across his chest.

    “Oh fuck! Edge!” Beatrix shouted, picking herself up from the dumpster and jumping across to where her friend was pinned. She sliced into the creatures and they jumped back, leaving Edge on the ground, a bloody mess.

    “I’m alright, relax.” Edge smiled lightly at Beatrix and picked himself up. He replaced his gun into its holster and ripped off his jacket. He wore underneath a black sleeveless shirt; the cut from the strike was deep however the blood flow seemed to have deteriorated into that of a trickle already. He removed his hat and glasses, and looked across at the creatures. Beatrix took a step back from Edge, looking up at his face. This was the first time, she realised, Edge had revealed his entire facial features to her, or anyone else she knew of for that matter.

    His hair was standard affair, reasonably long, but not so long as to be a mess. His lips were perhaps the smoothest part of his face, which was home to around four scars. His left check housed two of these, one of them smaller than the other, but both parallel. It looked as though he had been struck with a double bladed sword. The third scar was across his other cheek, however was rather faint. The final scar was across his right eye. It wasn’t the scars that caught the most of Beatrix’ attention, it was the eye that was scarred - it was red.

    “Well now you know why I cover my face.” Edge looked at Beatrix, and picked his gun up from the holster in his jacket. He placed it on his shoulder, and then removed a packet of cigarettes from his pants, which were no longer the baggy affair that accompanied his coat, and were now simply black combat pants. Edge no longer looked like a trench coat wearing pervert; he looked like a natural born fighter. He placed the cigarette in his mouth, and lit it with a lighter he removed from the packet.

    “E… Edge…” Beatrix tried to speak, however his name was all she could manage.

    “I’ll be fine. The cut is nothing. Let’s go. The ones that don’t die from a tail strike - try their eyes.” Edge nodded at Beatrix, “And stop looking at me like you just saw a ghost.”

    “Sorry… shocked… first time… yeah.” Beatrix mumbled. She shook her head and regained herself. “Yeah, lets go kill some wolf b
    astards.”

    Mikoto and Gala were laughing as they continued to slice the tails of the creatures attacking them, up until now they hadn’t came across any of the eye creatures, however they knew what to do as soon as Edge called over. They looked at him for a moment and shook their heads, action now, question later. Edge and Beatrix looked around, around a hundred of the creatures were running down the street, and above the dragon still flew, shooting here and there as it saw fit. The street lights were useless, and the only light came from the split second flash of gunshots, and the fires that continued to rage. Down the street the crowd still waited, watching the events concerning Reach and the creatures unfold before them.

    “Twenty nine!” Gala shouted, slicing the tail of another of the beasts.

    “Oh please,” was Mikoto’s reply, “forty four!”

    “Bitch! You lie!” Gala cried, lacing into six of the creatures with his guns at once.

    As Beatrix continued to fight off any creature that dared come close to her, she realised that these were either a lot weaker than those they had faced back in Solar, or that the four of them were just stronger. She let the thought leave her as she sliced into the tail of another of the creatures, before realising it wasn’t dead, and plunging her sword into its eye. The creature gave an abnormal scream before vanishing into dust.

    As the numbers of the creatures began to dwindle, and they turned tail and fled. However before they could celebrate, the four members of Reach looked up into the skies and saw the cause of their quick departure. The Apocali dragon was directly above their heads, and the energy mass it was charging was almost as big as the dragon itself. It continued to rise into the air, preparing the energy mass, and time seemed to stop for Reach. They looked up the street, the crowd of people had grown, and down the other end, was the central square of the main sector of High Charity. All around the four of them, crowds of people ran, and screams echoed through the air, however they seemed extremely distant.

    “We’re… going to die here.” Mikoto whimpered, dropping her sword and looking up at the dragon, floating in the heavens above. As she did so, she felt a drop of rain land on her face, and then another, and another, before millions of drops began to pour from the skies. The heavens had opened, and a storm was about to hit the city, as if there wasn’t already enough to worry about.

    “You know… I was always told that I should bow to things, and just accept them. Thinking about it though, when have I done that? If that was the truth then I would’ve fallen apart by now.” Gala seemed to speak to himself. However at the same time Mikoto, Beatrix and Edge felt as though he was addressing them all. He looked up at them, and smiled. Then looked up at the skies, the dragon was about to launch its attack.

    “This can’t be it, it feels so empty.” Gala continued, “We were just so figured out and ready to take on anything, and then that b
    itch a[/font]ss Andromeda gets her stupid Apoca-whatever to come rain on our parade.” His voice was now increased to a shout. He replaced his guns and looked behind him. The waterways of High Charity had opened up, on cue with the rainfall. They stopped the city from becoming a giant lake. In their current state they were shallow, as the rain had just began to fall, however how long they would remain that way would depend on how much more severe the storm was going to get.

    “Come on, morons, let’s get out of here. We’re not just going to sit around and die are we?” Gala smiled and turned, running towards the waterway. As Mikoto, Beatrix and Edge began to follow however, the deafening roar from above signified that the dragon had unleashed its attack. The energy bomb shot down into the streets of High Charity, and a second later, it landed in the central square. The entire world was thrown into black and white. Then, a moment later, it was over.

    Mikoto looked up, the central square was gone, however she and every other person in the area were still alive. Exploding buildings littered the area, and fires raged now more than ever before, however they were all still very much alive. She looked around at her friends, who wore the same confused look on their faces as she did. A flash of light lit up the world around them, and then a moment later, Andromeda appeared, smiling in front of them.

    “Hi there.” Andromeda smiled, the four friends simply looked at her. “Oh, you’re wondering why you aren’t dead huh?”

    “Well yeah that’d help us out; also can I talk to you once this is ov-” Gala was cut off with a punch to the stomach from Mikoto, who looked up at Andromeda and smiled, though forced it was, Andromeda returned it.

    “Apocali can’t harm humans with their non-physical attacks. All they can harm is anything that hasn’t got the genetic make up of a human. You guys must have gotten quite scared, considering the looks on your faces. Well, I guess that’ll change soon enough, anyway, must dash, I have some things to take care of at the palace.” With that, Andromeda did as she had done on her meeting with Mikoto, and simply disappeared without a trace again. A moment later, there was a strike of lightning across the skies, and the streets were illuminated properly for the first time since daylight. For a split second the four members of Reach caught a glimpse of a figure they recognised across the street.

    “Was that…?” Beatrix began.

    “No, it couldn’t be him.” Edge’s voice, as always, seemed final.

    “You can’t over estimate the limits of aggression of an animal created in the image of God himself, can you, my friends?” The voice too, was familiar. Footsteps could be heard, whoever it was was coming towards the group of friends. “And of course, what about that animal’s attraction to the marvels he has made? You cannot dismiss those either.”

    “What are you going on about?” Gala asked, his voice hinted with sarcasm.

    “Look at the way you’ve been going about your business lately, it’s all fighting. There is no limit to the aggression you possess, especially when it comes down to the protection of others. And yes… the attraction to the marvels we make… that is of course, alluding to myself.” The footsteps and the voice paused for a moment.

    “’You’ being…?” Mikoto asked, though she was pretty confident in the answer.

    “Don’t tell me you don’t recognise me, oh but I suppose you did think that I had died… it’s me of course, Creed. I am not very amused about what you did to my ship.”

    “How… did you survive?” Beatrix took a step back as she asked the question, and her voice wavered slightly.

    “Luckily I wasn’t the only Divinity commander on board at the time, and the other of us both happened to be quite skilled in dealing with the position you put us in, although that being said he is efficient at dealing with anything.” Creed paused for a moment, taking another step forward and into the light, his eyes met with Beatrix’. “He should be doing so right about now; I wonder how the council are faring.”

    “Why are you doing this?” Beatrix asked.

    “I thought I already told you when we last met? We are saving this city from despair. We cannot allow such heresy to go unopposed. If people turn against Divinity, then they are only placing themselves against the truth. The only salvation they will get is through death. We are giving everyone here that salvation.” Creed turned and looked upwards, towards the grand palace. It loomed tall against the skies, even though it was heavily damaged from the constant assaults of the dragon, who, even now relentlessly attacked the building.

    “Like I said when we last saw you, Creed, you’re just stopping people getting in your way.” Mikoto’s eyes flashed at Creed, who took a slight step backwards as his eyes met hers. He shook his head and smiled.

    “Hm, heretics will always be heretics. Although… Mikoto, you’ve become very interesting recently haven’t you?” Creed’s smile widened.

    “What do you mean?” Mikoto replied, narrowing her eyes.

    “Surely you’ve noticed. That power you display here and there. Those powers you unleashed when we fought, and again when you were upon the Apocali. When did they come about? If I am not mistaken, was it not after your brief encounter with Carbine?” Creed placed one of his hands on the handle of his scimitar, drumming his fingers along it lightly, before he spoke again. “Can you control that power, Mikoto?”

    “… No.” Mikoto looked downwards; suddenly she had an overwhelming feeling of being very secluded. The world around her seemed to shut her out, and nobody was opening any doors to let her back in. She felt a sudden urge to attack Creed; however she repressed it as hard as she could, though it seemed to take every ounce of her strength to do so.

    “I see. It’s useful though isn’t it?” Creed sighed and looked at Mikoto. “I don’t think you’ll ever be able to control it, and then… maybe even one day it will, no, it will definitely take control of you. What will you do then? You already know that it isn’t something that you willingly do. It takes over your senses; it takes over your entire body. What happens if something bad happens, what happens if you turn on your friends because of it? Why oh why though, did Carbine choose you? You’re nothing but a hindrance to us all! You’re the one causing problems with our plans, of course your friends share that blame, but you, you are the one that stole what could have been mine. Why did he pick you to host this and not I? Am I not good enough? No, that isn’t it. I refuse to believe that he would rather have an insignificant heretic be the host of things to come and not me, you can’t even control it, I could, this is ridiculous, and I am done. You die tonight!”

    Creed launched an all out attack on Mikoto; however before he was on top of her she pulled out her own sword and attacked him, causing him to sail across the street. Beatrix, Gala and Edge looked at her, and then up at the palace. An explosion suddenly erupted from inside the building, up near the council headquarters.

    “Creed, what’d you say about the council?” Beatrix shouted.

    “Hah!” Creed laughed as he pulled himself up from the floor, “They’re going to be dead soon, Carbine is up there now, this is the end of this pathetic continent, and there isn’t anything you heretics can do about it!”

    “We’ll see about that, Gala, Edge, lets go. Mikoto’s fine here, right?” Beatrix looked at Mikoto, who turned to face her. Mikoto smiled and nodded, before watching her friends run off towards the palace. She turned to face Creed who continued to laugh and shout at the three friends, proclaiming they could do nothing, Carbine was an angel with limitless powers, and that they should be here helping their friend. He then turned back to face Mikoto, and their eyes met.

    “Okay then, so you caught me off guard little girl, lets see how well you can keep up with the real me though!” Creed laughed and launched himself at Mikoto, who darted out the way and turned to face where Creed had landed, small cracks had appeared in the pavement, and Creed began to glow red. It looked as though he was on fire, however the glow was natural. Mikoto rolled her eyes and jumped at him.

    Their swords met and they continued to dart around each other, Creed was gaining speed with every passing blow, and soon he became a mere blur. Mikoto couldn’t keep up with his speed and felt her back be sliced by the tip of his scimitar. She fell forwards and landed on her knees, dropping her sword to the floor and looking upwards. A second explosion happened at the palace, and the roof seemed to be crumbling. She looked back at the street; Creed was facing her, his face glowing with a wicked smile. Mikoto returned the smile and picked up her sword, launching a second attack on the Divinity commander. This time she felt her body become lighter, and then she seemed to lose control of herself completely, she began wildly attacking Creed, who could barely parry any of her vicious assaults. Once or twice he was caught off guard and blood spilt from his body to the floor, however as had happened before, with every parry he seemed to grow stronger, and Mikoto felt herself coming back to her own senses, she was then struck wildly across the face with the tip of the scimitar again. She fell back and landed on the floor, clutching her sword.

    “There’s no way you can win brat! I’m not holding back anymore! You’re done with!” Creed flashed another smile and jumped up into the air, bringing himself down towards Mikoto. Her face was pouring with blood, and it stung like nothing she had ever felt before. Above she could make the outline of Creed falling down onto her, with his sword drawn. She mustered all her strength and rolled out of the way just in time, before turning to see him crash to the floor, and get up, looking at her.

    “So you’ve still got some strength left, not bad kid, but I’m afraid it’s time to send you to a sanctuary. Your time is through, now if you’ll just let me save you now!” Creed shouted and launched another attack at Mikoto; she tried to ignore the pain from the cut across her cheek, and pulled her sword up ready to parry the incoming blow. Creed stopped in mid run however, and the overwhelming feeling came across Mikoto once more. She felt the cut no longer hurt, and her body seemed to come back to life, full of energy once more. Creed looked upon her in abject terror, and she brought her eyes up to meet his. Then, for the first time, she saw Creed scared.

    Mikoto smiled and launched herself at Creed, slicing across his chest with her sword. She heard him scream out in pain, and a second later heard the wet sound of blood hitting the concrete. She stood motionless for a moment, waiting for what was coming next, however all that she heard was Creed falling to his knees. She turned and saw that he was clutching his chest. His scimitar was in his free hand, and he knelt motionless for a few moments. Then Mikoto heard him begin to mutter something to himself.

    “Release restrainers Four, Nine and Three. Unlock all limiters and proceed to final phase.” Was all that she could make out from his mumbling. She was about to ask what he was going on about, however her answer came a moment later when Creed exploded with energy. He was now a searing red glow, and his eyes shone through like diamonds. He stood and looked at Mikoto, clutching onto his scimitar. Mikoto’s eyes met with the blade as it transformed from the standard crimson curved blade into a long, sleek weapon. It shared the same colour; however it was just as long as Creed was tall.

    “Do you like what you see now, Mikoto?” Creeds voice had changed too, it was deeper, and seemed almost mechanical. “A five foot long Katana, I call it Apocament, I hope you and it can become friends.”

    “Oh please,” Mikoto sighed, “so you got a big weapon, big deal, you’re just compensating for something.”

    “Haha, if you say so, little girl.” Creed flashed a smile and launched himself at Mikoto. She brought up her sword just in time to parry the attack, however she was caught off guard after feeling how strong Creed had become. He was already able to push her back, however with his newfound strength it felt as if he had increased his abilities tenfold. Mikoto jumped backwards and looked around. The streets were bathed in the light of fires, and the explosions of the palace continued, some coming from within the building, and some coming from the dragon that still winged its way around the building. The rain still lashed down in torrents and every few moments lightning would flash across the skies. The streets were becoming heavily waterlogged. Mikoto sighed, typical Charity rainstorm she thought to herself, before looking back at Creed, who now stood on the opposite side of the street, smiling.

    “Can’t I have a rest, please?” Mikoto asked, half joking, half serious.

    “Oh sure, don’t worry about it, you take all the time in the world!” Creed replied, bringing down his sword and smiling at Mikoto.

    “Oh wow, thanks!” Came Mikoto’s reply; however she was caught off guard once more as Creed appeared beside her.

    “Just kidding.” Came his voice in her ear.

    “So was I.” She replied, and plunged her sword into his stomach; however no cry of pain came from Creed, only laughter. Mikoto then felt him hit her in the back with the hilt of his weapon, the pain spread from her spine into her kidneys, and she fell forward once more. Creed stood behind where she knelt, and pulled her sword from his stomach, before throwing it aside. It clattered across the street and landed on the windowsill of what was left of a small shop.

    “I’ve had enough.” Mikoto’s voice pierced the air, though calm it was. Creed paused and looked at her. The voice he had just heard seemed very different to that of the seventeen year old girl he was used to.

    “What did you say…?” Creed asked, raising his eyebrows.

    “I’ve had enough.” Was Mikoto’s reply. She stood and turned to Creed, looking at him directly. It was then that Creed felt it again, the same passion in her eyes he had felt when they had fought on the capital ship earlier that day. It danced here and there, and produced an energy Creed could feel shake his own bones. Before he could blink, Mikoto had disappeared, and then a split second later, was back again, clutching her sword. She smiled at Creed; however her eyes were now covered over with her hair. She was thoroughly soaked through. Her clothes clung to her body, although to her it didn’t matter. Mikoto felt as if there was only one thing left for her to do. So, she’d do it.

    She burst into an attack on Creed, and the Divinity commander couldn’t keep up with her, even though he himself had released all the restrainers upon his genetic enhancements. He felt his body being torn into by her sword, and though none of them made any sound as it unfolded, it was evident Creed was hurt. Mikoto was a blur in the rain, and her slices came from every angle. Creed couldn’t see anything, or feel anything, aside from the flashes of light against where he was cut, and the pain of the cuts themselves. As he continued to be cut, Creed let himself go, and the world around him seemed to fade away, into nothing. At first it was the noises, the rain stopped, the screaming stopped, and the explosions stopped. Then it was his vision, nothing was there anymore, just darkness. Finally, all feeling just left his body, and he imagined himself falling, and that was it.

    Mikoto stood beside Creeds body, unsure of whether or not he was dead or just unconscious. She shrugged and replaced her sword, before running down the street towards the palace. As she reached the central square, which had earlier became the victim of an extreme blast from the dragon above. She saw the damage caused for the first time. Where originally stood a grand fountain was now a crater, around a mile across. Water poured into the crater and collected at the bottom, it had slowly begun to turn into a lake. Mikoto stared at the area for a few moments, however was brought back to her senses by another explosion, this time further down the palace. She shook her head and ran across the crater towards the building. Behind her, back in the street, a small figure walked over to Creed’s body and dragged him away.

    ***
    Last edited by PLANES CURE TOWERS; 3rd March 2007 at 4:12 PM.

  10. #35
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    Beatrix, Edge and Gala had all reached the ground floor of the palace. The entrance was ablaze, and the two grand doors were being reduced to ash as the minutes went by. People seemed to be running in every direction, unsure of where they were going to go, or what they were going to do. The three friends ran into the palace, and as they did so the dragon in the skies roared. Beatrix turned to see what was happening, and looking up she saw it. There was a second air fleet entering the city through the destroyed section of wall that they had entered through earlier on. This fleet however was much bigger than the one that they had stopped earlier that day, and even then, the earlier fleet was overwhelming. Soon the skies were not only littered with rain, but once again with explosions, as a second air battle had begun. Beatrix turned and ran after Edge and Gala.

    The elevator pillars in the middle of the mile wide area were smashed to pieces in their mid section – there was no way up that didn’t involve a monumental flight of stairs. Gala sighed and pointed towards the walls. The stairs were alive with people running down them as fast as they could. It was complete pandemonium. The citizens of High Charity had became a raging tide of panic, and it was an all out melee in some areas, with people trying to escape one way but being forced to go another. By now the soldiers of High Charity had all but given up and simply stood watching the events unfold. There was nothing anyone could do, that was the reality of the situation. Solar had amassed an enormous army, and with their Apocali in the skies along with everything else, High Charity was completely overwhelmed. As Edge, Beatrix and Gala ran up the stairs, pushing past the panic-struck citizens, they began to wonder if they could even do anything. By now Carbine would have been with the council, the explosions that still came from above determined that.

    “We’re fucked either way Beatrix, you know this don’t you? We’re fucking fucked.” Gala moaned as he ran up stair after stair, they seemed never ending. “And what about Mikoto? Where the fuck is she now? What if she’s dead?”

    “Relax Gala.” Beatrix said, remaining as calm as she could, “Mikoto will be fine, and so will we.”

    “She’s right.” Edge replied, “Mikoto will be fine as she is, she’s… changed.”

    Gala shrugged his shoulders and continued the ascent. Eventually the three companions reached the upper floors of the palace, this area was deserted. The walls had begun to cave in, and the alarms still sounded, however not a living soul was in these halls. The three of them continued to run as fast as they could, towards the end of the corridor and the stairs leading up to the council headquarters. Another explosion came from directly above their heads, and bits of the ceiling rained down on their heads. They took no heed of it and carried on running, still unsure of what they could do, if anything at all. After all, they were going to run head-on into a fight with one of the Divinity angels, and there was little he wasn’t capable of.

    As they reached the stairs leading upwards, a huge explosion came from behind where they now stood, at the other end of the corridor, the dragon had just unleashed an attack from outside, and the walls crumbled in, leaving piles of burning rubble everywhere. The entire corridor soon was ablaze, and Gala, Beatrix and Edge had to quickly run up the staircase to avoid becoming ash themselves. The doors to the council headquarters were torn to pieces, and barely hung onto their hinges.

    Beatrix, Edge and Gala entered the council chamber and looked around. What once was a grand chamber was now torn to pieces, several members of the High Charity council lay dead upon the floor. Blood lined the walls, and the remaining members and Carbine all stopped and turned to the three friends as they entered the room. Beatrix immediately recognised Reich as one of the remaining members. Carbine held a sword in his left hand; it looked remarkably like Mikoto’s. In his right hand was a large rifle, automatic from the looks of things. He was dressed in the clothes he wore the first time he was seen by Beatrix, Edge and Gala – Smart, in a black suit. His hair was still neat as ever, and he smiled as he looked at the three friends.

    “Nice of you three to show up, where is the other?” Carbine asked.

    “Mikoto is busy with Creed.” Gala replied, his hands placed upon the holsters of his guns.

    “I see, so he’ll be dead soon then, hm. That’s a pity I suppose. What do you think, anyway? Of what we’ve accomplished so far? Who would have thought that in less than a day the great nation of High Charity could be on its knees?” Carbine smiled and waited for a reply. Beatrix looked around at the members of the council, they each had drawn their own weaponry, however they all, aside from Reich and Alexander, the head of the council, looked ready to be killed.

    “Why?” Edge asked, taking a step forward. Carbine looked at him and took a slight step backward in shock. The angel then shook his head and smiled at Edge.

    “I’m sure Creed would have told you, but we are doing it for the faith, and indeed all of mankind. All we want is a world of prosperity, a world where we can all live in peace with the planet, as we once did… before these heretics went against us anyway.” Carbine twisted his face and motioned towards the council as he spoke; Alexander rolled his eyes and stepped forward.

    “We only disagreed with the way in which you chose to go about your business! We are Planetists! Not Divinity!” His old voice seemed a lot stronger now than when he had first spoke to the members of Reach, and he didn’t seem old at all, a lot younger in fact.

    “You went against an Angel of the planet you claim to love, that is heresy.” Carbine pulled up his rifle at Alexander’s face and held it there for a moment.

    “You’re not a real angel, Carbine.” Edge spoke, his voice was different than his usual quiet, thoughtful tone. It now held a significant amount of power and authority.

    “Oh? Coming from the failed experiment that’s pretty rich. I am a real Angel, sent to do the will of the Planet.” Carbine turned his rifle towards Edge, who stood strong.

    “And who was the successful experiment?” Edge asked, looking at Carbine.

    “Well that was m-” Carbine paused and turned to the council. Who all looked up at him in curiosity, Edge smiled and removed his gun from its holster, and shot Carbine in the back as he was caught off guard.

    “You’re… an experiment?” Alexander asked, standing over Carbine.

    “I am an angel, a perfect being, and I will not stand for this heresy!” Carbine’s voice changed into the cold, piercing tone it had upon his entry onto the planet of Charity, and energy began to radiate from his body. The wound from Edge’s shot closed up, and the angel stood, looking around at each of the people in the room. “I am an angel, brought to life through taking the life of this planet itself and the greatest minds of Divinity, and I will not allow heretics, or anyone stand in the way of our plans.”

    “Oh yeah?” Beatrix started, “and just what are those plans?”

    “You’ll see soon enough my dear.” With that, Carbine erupted into energy and slammed Alexander against the wall, a moment later the wall was covered in blood, and Alexander had disintegrated into nothingness, Carbine turned and looked at the remaining members of the council. His eyes flashed with the same sense of power as they had when he first fought Reach, Beatrix gasped at the sight of his eyes; she had seen that look in Mikoto, too. The room began to rain blood as one by one; Carbine had his way with the members of the council, until there was only Reich left. Beatrix regained herself from the shock of what was happening and jumped forward to attack Carbine, who spun and kicked her across the room; however this gave Gala and Edge chance to lace him with several rounds from their guns. Carbine simply turned and smiled at them both, before disappearing from the spot and reappearing before them, punching them both across to where Beatrix had landed. Reich too, had regained his posture and looked upon Carbine.

    “You think you can do this? You think you can come into our city and… what was it… fuck everything up?” Reich shouted, his body growing in size, and changing as it did so. A few moments later, where once stood a tall cream colours alien in a soldiers uniform, was now a monstrosity that towered above the room. It was like a tremendous spider, covered in spikes. The face was the same, however the voice and appearance was very different. Carbine raised his eyebrows and smiled at the alien. Beatrix, Edge and Gala looked on in awe. The alien attacked Carbine with the two front legs, and smashed up what remained of the large round council desk. Carbine smiled at the alien once more and shot a large blast of energy through Reich’s torso. The alien looked down momentarily in pain, however a moment later the wound closed up, as Carbine’s had done before, and the alien attacked again.

    “Regeneration, my planet is well known for it.” The spider-like creature declared, smashing around the room after Carbine, who dodged every onslaught amazingly well. Carbine had discarded the rifle, and was now fighting with his sword and body. Energy blasts rained from his hand every so often, however each time they connected with the body of Reich he simply removed the wound and continued fighting. Beatrix, Edge and Gala looked at each other once more; it was time for them to join in the fight. Carbine turned and saw the three running towards him, and jumped backwards, charging a significantly large bloom of energy and unleashing it, it barely missed Beatrix and sailed across the room, colliding with the farthest wall and ripping a hole through it. The rainstorm outside entered the building, and a blast of cold air entered the room. Thought inside it didn’t seem like it, they were actually around one mile into the atmosphere. Down below, a seventeen year old girl had just entered the palace and began making her way up towards the council headquarters.

    The fight paused for a moment as the temperature of the room sent everyone into a minor state of shock, however it soon passed and each of the combatants redeemed themselves and launched back into the fray. The gunshots of Gala and Edge rang through the air, and the sound of metal against metal chimed as Beatrix and Carbine’s sword’s clashed together. Reich had received the majority of Carbine’s attacks, and now slowed down; the regeneration seemed to take a lot of his energy. A few minutes of fighting passed and he collapsed onto the floor, falling unconscious and reverting back into his standard state. The fighting stopped for a moment as Beatrix, Edge and Gala ran to his side. Carbine stood on the opposite side of the room, raising his eyebrows at the downed alien.

    “Gala, take him down to some… somewhere. He needs help, at this rate he’ll probably di-” but Beatrix voice was cut short, as Carbine landed on top of Reich, and plunged his sword into the heart of the alien. Reich’s blood was green, and splashed from the wound. As Carbine removed his sword he flicked the blood from it, covering Mikoto who now stood at the door. Gala looked up and smiled when he saw his friend. Mikoto didn’t return the smile, or the gaze, and set her eyes on Carbine. The angel turned to look at her and smiled.

    “Welcome to the council, Mikoto.” The angel’s voice pierced the airwaves once more, and rang in Gala’s ears momentarily. He picked up his gun and shot Carbine in the face, catching him unawares. He and Edge quickly picked Reich up and carried him out of the room, leaving Beatrix and Mikoto alone with Carbine, who was writhing around on the floor in agony from the gunshot. Mikoto walked over to Beatrix, and smiled for the first time since entering the room.

    “How are you?” Beatrix asked, looking at Mikoto.

    “Alright I suppose. Bit tired, but that comes with the job doesn’t it?” Mikoto replied, smiling at her friend.

    “Never change do you? Even when faced with… well, this.” Beatrix laughed and turned to see Gala and Edge re-enter the room. The two walked over to where she and Mikoto stood, and smiled at them both. It took a moment for Mikoto to recognise Edge, but when she did all she could say was a small utterance under her breath. Edge simply looked at her and smiled. Carbine picked himself up from the floor and turned to the four friends.

    “Nice little reunion, how’s Creed?” Carbine asked, looking directly at Mikoto.

    “Dead.” Mikoto answered, causing Carbine to raise his eyebrows.

    “Oh really? Why can I still feel that he is alive then?” The angel smiled and cocked his head.

    “Guess he’s alive then? I don’t know, what am I, psychic? I played with him for a while, then he feel to the floor, that’s that.” Mikoto shrugged and rolled her eyes.

    “You know, considering your attitude I’m not sure you should have been picked, we can’t be having the people I’ve changed thinking for themselves.” Carbine paused, and removed the smile from his face.

    “What did you say?” Beatrix asked, looking first at Carbine and then at Mikoto.

    “Surely you’ve noticed… ever since we first met, Mikoto has been different, mainly when she fights. The look in her eyes, the way she’s a lot more adept than you three… even Edge! When I first saw her… well, we’ll just say that once upon a time I knew Mikoto, her sword? Look at it, and then look at my own, two halves isn’t it? Actually, I’ve been meaning to return this to you Mikoto.” Carbine threw his sword over at Mikoto, who caught it and looked at it. It looked like a mirror of her own blade.

    “… You’re right.” Mikoto answered, and placed the two swords parallel to each other. Before her eyes the two blades consumed each other, and formed a new sword. It no longer looked incomplete, and was adorned with various symbols, none of which Mikoto had seen before, but could understand.

    “What do they say?” Carbine asked, the smile returning to his face.

    “Purity of spirit… how can I even know that? I’ve never seen these before in my life!” Mikoto was beginning to lose her head; none of this was making any sense to her, or anyone else aside from Carbine.

    “… It says what?” Carbine began, his voice no longer bearing the tone it once had.

    “Purity of spirit.” Mikoto repeated, “Why?”

    “It doesn’t say Devotion!?” By now, the angel was beginning to become panic stricken.

    “No, what’s your point?” Mikoto had suddenly calmed down, realising that Carbine was now losing control. However, a moment after this realisation, he pulled himself back together.

    “It means that you were the wrong person after all. Purity of spirit… but no devotion… I’ve given you something that you weren’t supposed to have. You were supposed to place the two back together and enter a state of pure devotion to me… what happened… oh what does it matter anymore, I have no need for you, so you’ll just have to accept that you’re about to end up like the rest of this pathetic council.” Carbine shouted, and with that, he launched himself at Mikoto, who pulled out her sword and was able to parry the unexpected attack.

    “Alright guys, this time we help Mikoto through it, and whether you like it or not you’ve got us here, alright?” Gala shouted, smiling, and then launching a parade of bullets into Carbine. However the angel shrugged them off and continued the attack on Mikoto, who was still able to parry every single move he sent her way. Beatrix jumped to her side and quickly caught Carbine off guard, and then the two pushed him back, sending him flying across the room. The angel landed on his feet, however was then met with several rounds from the gun of Edge. Carbine pulled back his attack, and then launched once more towards Mikoto, however this time, Mikoto jumped out of the way, and Carbine crashed to the floor.

    “Oh s
    hit!” Gala cried, causing Beatrix, Edge and Mikoto to turn to see what was wrong with him, their answer came as they looked upon the large hole in the wall of the room. Andromeda stood outside, upon the dragon. She smiled as the dragon lowered her into the room. Carbine turned to look at her.

    “What’re you doing up here Andromeda?” The angel asked, his voice tainted with a slight anger.

    “Just thought you’d like to know that I and my dragon are done for the day, Creed is back on the Unyielding Hierophant, and if you’re done here, we’re going now.” Andromeda paused, twisting her face at the mess of the room. “Alexander or whatever his name is just signed that High Charity will not meddle in the affairs of Solar, and will return to a state of Divinity if we leave.”

    “How is that possible?” Carbine asked, “I killed Alexander.”

    “Carbine, he’s not the leader of High Charity for no reason, he’s just as powerful as any of us. You can’t kill him the way you can kill anyone else.” Andromeda shook her head and turned back to the dragon, jumping up onto the head of the beast. “Now are you coming or what? We’re no longer needed in this city, and considering the best part of the nearest four hundred miles is on the ground now…”

    Carbine turned to look at each of the members of Reach, and disappeared from where he stop, reappearing beside Andromeda upon the dragon. Without saying anything, they both took off away from the palace, leaving the four friends alone in the room. Gala sat down on the floor, looking up at the blood covered ceiling. He let out a long sigh, and closed his eyes. Edge pulled out another cigarette from his packet and lit it up, before walking over to the hole in the wall, and looking out at the city below. He was soon joined by Mikoto and Beatrix, who looked down on what had occurred.

    A mile below, fires continued to rage, even though the rain had not once let up. The tall buildings of High Charity were no more than rubble now; the Palace was the only building that touched the skies for, as Andromeda had said, at least four hundred miles. In less than a day, one part of the grand city had been completely annihilated, and all in the name of lies.

    ***

    Three days later, all traces of the Solar military had vanished from High Charity, however the destruction remained. The palace was already undergoing repairs; however for a good tenth of the population, life was almost at an end. Since Alexander had agreed to return to a state of Divinity, it meant that he was now under the control of the Solar government, however so far nothing had been done about that. The dictatorship of the council over High Charity had been diminished, only three members remained. Alexander, Reich, and another member named Madame Kobrakai. The majority of destruction was brought towards the civilian population of High Charity – the military had been largely left unwounded, however it was presumed that around a quarter of a million innocent civilians had been lost on that day.

    Gala, Edge, Beatrix and Mikoto sat in their quarters with Sage. Silence had been the order of the day ever since they each had awoken. It was the first day since their battle with Carbine that Reach had been reunited – each member had been requested at the council, or was away with Snorf, repairing what damage the Angel Tears had suffered. The silence was eventually broken, as Mary and Pepper burst through the door. Much to Gala’s protest, the two had also been given the honour of staying in the same quarters as the rest of Reach, due to their friendship. However, Gala soon came to realise that even Pepper wasn’t herself, nobody was. High Charity on a whole was generally silent. In some ways it was a good silence, the screams of terror had ceased, and the alarms, explosions, and fighting of war had ended, however, in the same sense, it was a silence of sorrow. It felt as though even the walls of the city mourned for the dead.

    Eventually, it was to be Mikoto that broke the silence upon the room. She turned to Sage, asking for answers. Many mysteries had surfaced in the attack, and a lot of questions were unanswered, she felt it best to turn to Sage, and though she didn’t know it – so did everyone else. He was the only one that would have had any idea as to what was going on. Dragons, strange powers, one might daresay sorcery – Sage was the man who knew of this all.

    “Sage… can you… explain anything?” Mikoto asked, her eyes meeting his.

    “What is there to explain? Ask and you shall receive.” The old man stood and walked across to the window once more, and looked out across the now desolate city.

    “What are the Apocali?” Beatrix asked, before Mikoto could continue, “That’s been on my mind for a while now.”

    “They existed long before I did, nowadays they are concerned as nought but myth. They are creatures of the planet, four exist. The one you fought against was called by Andromeda, who I will delve into in a moment. The dragon Apocali, its name, according to lore of old, is Ascendant. He is the third Apocali. As for how Andromeda called him out…” Sage paused in thought for a moment, “It is likely that Divinity has discovered a way to call them out. Andromeda was probably selected to be a caller, and was granted with the power from whatever it was that they found.”

    “What would they have found though? To give them that dragon sh[/font]it?” Gala asked, raising his eyebrows slightly.

    “Dark matter.” Sage replied.

    “Say what?” Gala answered.

    “Dark matter, it’s a source of energy, however it cannot be used due to its tendency to rip black holes into the atmosphere of planets, and ultimately destroy them. It is likely that they found a Dark Matter field below the surface of the planet, at least one mile down. It does exist. The planet of Charity is a very strange one, in the way it is made up.” Sage paused, thinking once more.

    “Oh great, a geography lesson.” Gala sighed and sat back in his seat, “This should be interesting.”

    “Shut up Gala.” Mikoto snapped, causing Gala to cross his arms and look a little less than amused.

    “We live around sixteen miles from the core of the planet. What we live upon is the crust of the world. The crust is around a mile wide, however in some places it fluctuates; sometimes it is less than half a mile wide, sometimes being more than three miles wide. It’s a very uneven layer of rock. Now, in the places that are more than three miles wide, below these are a series of caverns. They stretch on endlessly across the planet, underneath the crust. It is said that they are liveable and are even occupied, however such assumption was destroyed by the explorer Alexander Saner the third, who found out around 500 years ago that the conditions below were stable for living, however completely deserted of any life at all. However, he found something else – evidence that the world below was not always as it is now.” Sage stopped, the look of thought once more returning into his deep eyes.

    “There were paintings upon the walls, and machinery, ancient and yet, still in perfect working order. Some of it is even used today, in our world. He brought up designs and everything, Divinity, or the Planetists as they were then, used the technology to construct the headquarters in Solar, as did the council of High Charity. Ever wonder how the buildings are so high? That technology is the answer. As he delved further into the caverns of the underworld, he began to find fields, darker than the pitch black of a night with no starlight or moonlight. These areas were also surrounded in beautiful paintings, they told stories, and depicted great beasts, and many people under the influence of what looked like giants. It was a magnificent sight. After spending over seventy years learning the writing on those walls, and cracking the code of the Apocali, Alexander finally understood everything.” Sage stopped speaking, everyone in the room sat in silence. Edge moved slightly, he had not returned to wearing his overcoat since removing it.

    “Alexander learnt,” continued Sage, “that the Apocali were once used by the civilisations that formed the underworld, and indeed the rest of this planet. They were magnificent beasts, each with its own unique look, and power. He learnt that no Apocali could hurt humans unless it attacked them using its physical body. He also learnt that the Apocali were controlled by humans through use of Dark Matter. That, was the substance he found alongside those murals. It is now that we return to what I was saying about how our planet is very strange, and indeed unique. If you are to go past these caves, further downwards, you will not come across anymore rock. Instead you will find a large expanse. Goodness knows how wide it is. The planet of Charity does not have a core like any other planet.”

    “What does it have then?” Edge asked, speaking for the first time in days.

    “The planet of Charity has a dormant black hole as its core.” Sage replied. “The murals depicted that the civilisation had tried to use too much dark matter at once, to summon all four Apocali at the same time. However, what they did not know was that a concentration of that much Dark Matter can contract very easily into a black hole. Dark Matter is a very volatile material, and too much can result in what happened to that civilisation. The murals depicted the dark matter contracting into itself, and collapsing into a black hole. The black hole in those murals is the dormant hole serving as the core of this planet. It was left to its own devices, and it ate away at the inner mantle, and everything below the second layer. It was then sealed away in the colossal chamber, in hopes of never being unsealed. If it was, it is likely that the entire planet would ultimately collapse on itself, ending everything that ever was, and ever will be.”

    “Now hold on a second Sage my man.” Mary sat up and startled everyone with her voice, she gave everyone in the room a slight look of unease before continuing, “Okay so you say that all this Dark Matter can cause a rip in the fabric of our universe if it is collected together, right? So then, what about those fields that you told us about?”

    “Ah, that is a good question.” Sage smiled, “It was never really explained in the murals, however Alexander did hypothesise that the Dark Matter in the fields was also dormant, and that in order for Dark Matter to become unstable, it must be handled. It is likely the correct explanation, as I myself cannot see any other. Ah, I have misplaced the point, the origins of the Apocali. They can be called by anyone who is able to handle Dark Matter. It is highly unlikely for Andromeda to have been able to do such a thing naturally, however it is still possible. You can never tell with Plane- sorry, members of Divinity, the amount of experiments they conduct on human beings is immeasurable. In conclusion, the Apocali are beasts of ancient times – embodiments of power, and are called through harnessing the energy found in Dark Matter.”

    “Well lets just hope Divinity knows what they’re doing, meddling with these things. It’s pretty irresponsible of them to go about summoning up Apocali, and not even considering the dangers.” Beatrix sighed, and looked at Mikoto. Throughout the three days since the attack, Mikoto had been completely reserved, she rarely spoke, and she wasn’t herself at all. However, as Beatrix watched her, her lips moved.

    “What can you tell me about… me.” Mikoto asked, looking up at Sage.

    “That… is a tricky one. However I will do my best to offer an explanation of the events from what I have been told. It seems that in your first encounter, Carbine placed something upon you, what that was I cannot say – he’s different to any other Angel I have ever seen in my lifetime. He is young whereas they were old, and more importantly, he is violent, and has powers exceeding those of nature. Anyway, as I was saying, it is likely he placed something upon you in hopes of ultimately controlling you for himself. How your sword and his were connected is a mystery that may or may not be best unsolved…” Sage paused for a moment, looking at Beatrix, and then at Mikoto.

    “No point hiding truths.” Beatrix whispered.

    “Indeed.” Sage sighed, and continued, “Beatrix found you when you were around four years old, Mikoto. Beatrix then was fourteen, and like you, she was abandoned. She brought you back to Reunion, and there you were kept, brought up as you are now. Beatrix treated you as a younger sister. With you was the sword that, before it restored itself into what it is now, you have used all these years. How Carbine managed to get the second half is anyone’s guess, I feel that will be revealed in due time. The point is, Carbine had it, and it is likely that whatever he placed upon you in your first encounter, he placed the second part upon his half of that sword. What were the words that flared up on it when it was put back together?”

    “Purity of Spirit.” Mikoto answered, though her voice was barely audible.

    “And Carbine, according to Beatrix, had assumed it would say ‘Devotion,’ correct?” Sage replied.

    “Yeah, that’s right. He was pretty shocked when it didn’t.” Mikoto answered.

    “Hm, indeed.” Sage paused once more, “It is likely that he wanted your devotion to be to him. Stockholm syndrome, forced. Perhaps. What it is ultimately is that he placed upon you a terrific power, and then planned on having you fall under his control, allowing him to have that power as well as his own. Why he chose you… I am not sure. However the plan of course, backfired. My explanation for this is that he wanted your devotion; however you already have given that to someone else. Beatrix. You cannot be purely devoted to something and then be the same to another. I don’t think that your devotion to Beatrix is an unnatural state either, it is natural, you were brought up as if you were her sister – it is likely to come from that. Purity of Spirit is likely to be the name of your sword; swords carry names significant to who handles them. Beatrix’ sword is named Eve, after her mother. Yours is Purity of Spirit, after that which you are given.”

    “What about this power… can I even control it?” Mikoto asked, her old personality quickly returning.

    “That is down to your abilities I feel, Mikoto.” Sage smiled and slightly nodded in direction of the seventeen year old, who returned the smile.

    “Man…” Gala whinged, causing everyone in the room to turn and look at him.

    “What?” Beatrix asked, narrowing her eyes at him.

    “It’s not fair, Mikoto gets all the attention.” Gala laughed after he said it, however his look quickly turned to disdain as he saw Pepper spring to life.

    “Don’t be such a silly!” Pepper cried, smiling at him, “You get a lot of attention, all from m-”

    “Me.” Mary smiled, pushing Pepper out of the way.

    “Jesus, will you two just leave me alone.” Gala sighed, and sat down in one of the large chairs. He expected Mary or Pepper, likely both, to jump on him, however he was greeted by Mikoto. She turned and smiled at him, then turned to look at Mary and Pepper, who both gave an unsure look at Mikoto.

    “Be nice to Gala Mary, and you Pepper. He’s had a rough time, besides, as if I’d let my best friend be torn apart by you two. Anyway if I know Gala, there’s more than enough to go around.” Mikoto laughed and elbowed Gala in the ribs, he tried to hide the pain however failed, and sat rubbing the place Mikoto had struck for several moments.

    “Good to have you back in the running kiddo, I missed the old Mikoto.” Beatrix smiled, and flicked back her hair. Edge cracked a slight smile too. For the first time since the battle three days ago, everyone had returned back to their normal selves. The despair had been placed aside, and for the time being, what really mattered to each of them was all that was shown.

    “Mikoto.” Sage’s voice rang across the room, causing everyone to turn to him.

    “Yeah, Sage?” Mikoto replied, slightly taken aback by the sudden outburst of her name.

    “Whatever you came from, you are still yourself in the end.”

    ***

    “If you tolerate this your children will be next, you realise this don’t you Alexander?”

    “I do Kobrakai, however this is not something that we have a choice within.” Alexander sat in the council throne room with his head in his hands, opposite him stood Commander Reich and Madame Kobrakai – the only two surviving members of the council. How Alexander had survived the attack by Carbine was still a mystery, however he had assured everyone that it was one best left unanswered.

    “No choice? Alexander I am the leader of the High Charity weapon division, you cannot tell me that we have no choice when I know damn well we have a perfectly acceptable choice.” Madame Kobrakai was tall, and dressed herself in a grey suit. Her hair was tied back in a tight bun, neat to the finest strand of protein. She had made herself known when Reach had met with the council, however had only spoken momentarily and had not had chance to introduce herself.

    “I have told you once, and then one thousand times more, we are not going to resort to that, and the end of it is – it was not necessary to build, and was a waste of time. Besides, even something such as that would not be able to win; you saw the dragon they called.” Alexander sighed, “I don’t know what we are to do.”

    “Forgive my asking,” Reich spoke, “but what is this thing that you are talking about?”

    “Are you joking?” Kobrakai began, “Alexander you mean to tell me that the high commander of our military does not even know of the project?”

    “Apparently he does not.” Alexander answered.

    “It is named ‘Omega Triton’ Reich, only I, my top engineers, and Alexander are aware of its existence. It is a large warship. It has three primary weapons, firing all three at once would result in widespread destruction of an area of around four hundred miles in each direction from ground zero. Alexander however is against the use of our trump card as it will wipe out Solar and everything in it.” Kobrakai shot a cold look at Alexander, who rolled his eyes in return.

    “I see.” Reich replied, “It would ultimately give them back what they gave us. It is estimated that four hundred miles of the city was wiped out in their attack. However with that being said, High Charity is around two thousand square miles in size, Solar is a mere two hundred. You would be wiping out a lot more than just the city if you fired the weapon.”

    “Solar and the Solar docks are the only cities on the continent of Zodiac, all the collateral damage would be is a lot of fields.” Kobrakai sighed, “There is no reason not to use the weapon.”

    “Couldn’t we just place a threat on Solar instead…?” Alexander said, burying his head into his old hands once more.

    “You forget that Solar controls this nation, and if we do any indirect offensive action they will simply come back and our city will lie in dust.” Reich answered, “If we are going to retaliate then we must do a direct attack.”

    “How about we just accept our fate, and don’t attack.” Alexander answered.

    “Like I said, tolerate this and your children will be next.” Kobrakai narrowed her eyes at Alexander, “We’re going to enter a state much like Solar has under the rule of Divinity. Our once fair city will become a haven of all that is wrong with the world. It’s either that, or do something about it.”

    “What is the current state of our military Reich?” Alexander asked, looking up at the large insect-like alien.

    “We’re down to around fifteen percent of our military. That was their prime target in the attack, the dragon was a diversion, the rest of the army – the soul soldiers, they attacked our military directly. We stood no chance according to reports.” Reich’s face turned down as he spoke, the men that were killed were his own, and he took the entire blame of their deaths upon himself.

    “I see. Do we have an official death toll yet, military and civilian alike?” Alexander asked again, standing up from his seat and moving to the centre of the council chamber. The chamber was the first area of the palace to be repaired, and looked as it had before the attack.

    “Two million people were killed in total; the majority of them were military personnel. However around six million people have been left without homes, water, food, or anything.” Madame Kobrakai also lost much of her expression as she spoke. The amount of people killed in such a short attack was astronomical.

    “How do we carry out an attack with only…” Alexander hesitated. “How many men do you have remaining commander?”

    “Around two hundred thousand are able to fight.” Reich answered.

    “Ask Reach to go along with you, and do what you can to raise the morale of your troops. We’re about to go to war.” Alexander turned to Madame Kobrakai. “Kobrakai, please send out word to your engineers that the trial run of Omega Triton is to be on this day. I will address the nation. May all of High Charity shine on us for today.”

    “Understood.” Kobrakai and Reich exclaimed at the same time, before leaving the room. Alexander turned to an intercom panel next to his seat, and called for the broadcast station to set up for the announcement. Afterwards, he too left the room, headed for the broadcast centre. As he walked along the corridors of the Palace, Alexander wondered upon the idea that he may not be doing the right thing. ”I never did believe in an eye for an eye… however Kobrakai is correct. I cannot tolerate such deviancy from what we once had here in High Charity. The nation must be defended from any and all disruption.”

    Eventually, Alexander entered the broadcast station of the Palace, where already the entire set for what was about to be foretold had been set up. Camera crews, set crews, and the like all watched as Alexander entered the room. Some of the crew members wore confused looks on their face – what was so urgent as to address the nation, an event that had not occurred for at least two hundred years?

    Alexander sat at the desk on the set, and nodded at the camera ahead of him. The crew members moved away from the camera view and Alexander was given the go ahead to do what it was he had to do – the camera was rolling.

    “Greetings High Charity.” Alexander smiled at the camera, however it quickly waned. “It is I, Alexander Saner the fourth, and I come bearing news for my nation. Please listen to my message carefully. Recent events have occurred, leading to the wellbeing of our fair city to be demolished before our eyes. We have been required to enter into the regimes set forward by the government of Solar – Divinity. We once knew these people as our own allies, Planetists. Charity was a planet of peace. However with this change, and with many other occurrences, High Charity has come to realise that we need not follow teaching, we need not follow what we are told, and we need not believe anything except that which we choose to believe. The result was the catastrophe of four days ago. We are back to square one… no, we are further behind than what we were. High Charity will never be allowed to enter a state like that of Solar. It is because of this, that the nation of High Charity has declared a complete war on the oppression of the south. We will not go quietly into the night, and we will not let ourselves be taken by our enemies without a fight. We are a proud and ancient civilisation; High Charity is a land of freedom, where our friends may be not only from a different background or colour skin, but from a different planet entirely. It is for our freedom, for our right to live as we choose, and for our right to be who we want to be, that we fight. Today is the day that all of High Charity shall rise and declare to those that choose to deny us our rights, we will not be silenced! We will not allow you to oppress us! And we will not allow you to take away what we have worked so hard to build. May it be coincidence or otherwise that today marked the beginning of the last war of Charity, that took place over seven hundred years ago, and may it be coincidence that the same war was started for the reasons we are fighting for today. Today is the day that all of High Charity will shine, and all of High Charity will erupt. We are a proud nation, let us show Solar who they are dealing with!”


    End of Chapter 013.
    Last edited by PLANES CURE TOWERS; 3rd March 2007 at 2:45 PM.

  11. #36
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    Ah, I was wondering where you went. Anyways, one has to wonder why Divinity even bothered with the warships when they could have just sent the big *** dragon in the first place... oh well. Aside from that, action packed and mysterious as usual, and I couldn't help but notice a couple of parallels to my fic. I did spot a couple of errors which I can't be arsed to find again, but that's all right. Oh, one more thing before I hit post: I kinda think that your second post would do just fine as an individual chapter separate from the first, but that's all right.
    Gone.

    http://psiumbreon.livejournal.com/82372.html

  12. #37
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    A huge, kick-*** dragon is something I always like to see. Also very frelling cool was Reich’s spidery advanced form—there’s yet another reason why he’s awesome. Creed committed some bossness in that chapter, too, especially when his weapon transformed. I liked the change in Mikoto’s weapon, too. There was lots of action and destruction this time around, to which I say fwee. ^^ OH, and Snorf was in that chapter! I do so love that character.

    Other highlights:

    “Snorf would be honoured to help nice people! Snorf will prepare Angel Tears for you immediately, snorf! Snorf would also like to inform nice people that Angel Tears is now their ship, a gift from Reich for your… hrm…” Snorf paused.

    “Our what?” Mikoto asked.

    “Snorf is trying ot think of how Reich put it… oh yes snorf! The Angel Tears is a reward from Reich for your… ahem… ****ing amazing exploits earlier today, snorf!” Smorf smiled, unaware of the obscenity he had just spoke. Mikoto stifled a laugh, as did Gala, whereas Beatrix smiled at Snorf.
    XD And he said it with a smile, too, which makes it even better. Frell, I love Snorf.

    [quote]As they reached Beatrix and Edge, their leader smiled at them both, before being struck off guard by one of the beasts. The blow launched her across the street and she crashed into a blue dumpster.

    “Ouch, blue…” Gala cringed.

    “Yeah… human waste unit if it’s the same as Solar. Least she’s glad to see us.” Mikoto cringed slightly, and jumped into the fight.[quote]

    Hah, gross. XP

    High Charity on a whole was generally silent. In some ways it was a good silence, the screams of terror had ceased, and the alarms, explosions, and fighting of war had ended, however, in the same sense, it was a silence of sorrow. It felt as though even the walls of the city mourned for the dead.
    Very nice choice of words there.

    “If you tolerate this your children will be next, you realise this don’t you Alexander?”
    Reading that caused a song that I like to start playing in my head.
    DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
    (Or do. I don't actually mind.)
    The Origin of Storms | Communication

  13. #38
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    Chapter 11
    “Edge, tell everyone we’re about to land in Solar Port” Said Mikoto,
    Forgot punctuation.
    “We’re landing.” Edge said
    Comma, not period.
    “One more can’t help, besides, Mikoto still has enough fuel to keep the engine running and have us about 20 miles away before this thing conks out.”
    First comma is a period.
    The walls were a sandy orange colour, and on all four sides of the area, they expanded some fifty feet into the air, they had landed in a hole.
    Last comma is a semicolon.
    Remember, don’t do anything until I say to, we may be able to afford a scuffle.”
    Don't you mean avoid?
    “I’ll need to see some identification and mission statements before we allow any clearance, we have had no word from Solar about this” Yanme responded.
    Forgot punctuation.
    “Shit, that ****ing idiot” Mikoto said to herself,
    Same
    “No, we’ll go down like you just too the wings off of an aeroplane in mid-flight.” Mikoto replied.
    What?
    Below, were very small buildings, and a lot of green areas which reach assumed were parks.
    Capital?
    Even though it didn’t look to agile, it jumped around like crazy on the engine
    too
    “So you were commies?” Mikoto replied, before Beatrix elbowed her in the arm to shut her up.

    “What is a Commie, snorf?”
    If one of them is capitalized shouldn't both of them be capitalized?

    I've given up on trying to correct comma mistakes and quotation punctuation. You know what, I think you need a beta, not a reviewer. I'd offer to do it myself, but after this week I don't know how much time I'll actually have.

    When using quotations, never use a period when saying something like said outside of the quotation.

    I personally don't see the problem with your dialogue. The ammount is fine.

    Chapter 12
    can you two find the weapons systems and see if you can make head or tail of them?
    I believe it's "heads or tails" but I'm assuming that your use of the slang is different than mine.
    “Indeed. Mikoto, I must say I am impressed with your flying, me and my ships here will supply you some back up for your attack on the capital ship,
    my ships and I
    and part of her had suddenly became scared of how much power Mikoto had began to display.
    begun
    Mikoto checked the ships radar and looked back at where the capital ship was, she was relieved to see that no High Charity ships were within a mile of the capital ship.
    You know, it seems rather stupid that Mikoto wouldn't hail all the other allied ships that there was a nuckear bomb set to go off. It seems even more unrealistic that none of them sould be in the range of the explosion without some sort of warning.

    Not too bad. You've got places where there should be less talk and more description. One example is when Gala explains that they're being fired upon. A little descrition would have made sense. But for the most part it works.

    Chapter 13
    Several parts of the palace were ripped apart completely, and fires rages across the entire building.
    raged
    The dragon roared in pain and swung back violently, catching Gal off guard and sending him, Snorf, and the Angel Tears spinning through the air.
    unless that's his new nickname, you might want to change that.
    he gave up trying to continue the flight, and proceeded to take the ship back to the dock, wishing to himself and everything that he ever was for Mikoto to be alright,
    You might want to fix the second part. It doesn't make sense.
    The sword was lodged in the wall around six storeys up.
    story, as well as all the other "storeys" after it.
    “We were just so figured out and ready to take on anything, and then that ***** a[/font]ss Andromeda gets her stupid
    obvious
    Carbine paused and turned to the council. Who all looked up at him in curiosity,
    Carbine paused and turned to the council, all of whom looked up at him in curiosity.
    Thought inside it didn’t seem like it, they were actually around one mile into the atmosphere
    Though
    I played with him for a while, then he feel to the floor, that’s that.”
    fell
    “Alexander or whatever his name is just signed that High Charity will not meddle in the affairs of Solar,
    Change that.
    They are creatures of the planet, four exist.
    Semicolon
    To give them that dragon sh[/font]it?
    this is self explanatory
    “Alexander learnt,” continued Sage,
    learned

    It feels to me that even with an army behind them, the members of Reach are still the only ones who get the job done. It may just be me, but that's what I see.

    Youre chapters have been improving. Grammar wise anyway. The story itself seems to be holding steady.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indigestible Wad
    You know, it seems rather stupid that Mikoto wouldn't hail all the other allied ships that there was a nuckear bomb set to go off. It seems even more unrealistic that none of them sould be in the range of the explosion without some sort of warning.

    Not too bad. You've got places where there should be less talk and more description. One example is when Gala explains that they're being fired upon. A little descrition would have made sense. But for the most part it works.
    This much, I agree with. I read over it after reading your post, and I do agree that it was a bit... well I'd call it broken I suppose, that I didn't include that within the story. It's likely that I'll do a re-write of this, in which case I'll make sure that I include something to that measure within.
    It feels to me that even with an army behind them, the members of Reach are still the only ones who get the job done. It may just be me, but that's what I see.
    Again, when I read through my chapters, I find this to be something that annoys me, because I rather not have them be protrayed as all powerful beings, when they are nothing more than mere humans (well, for the most part). Hopefully what happens towards the end of this chapter will make a break from such things occuring, however I cannot decide on something such as that as a writer. I liek to think I've moved away from doing this a little bit, however I guess I'll have to find out what you and the rest of the readers think.

    As for a beta; I guess that'd be a good idea, however I'm not incredibly aware of anyone willing to do so. Especially at this stage, due to the chapters getting increasingly longer. However if anyone does wish to apply for it, please let me know, as it'd be just as appreciated as a review from you guys.

    Sike; I'm glad you enjoyed that chapter. I had a hell of a time writing it, but as far as the themes apparent in the last chapter are concerned, I'm of the opinion that this one completely blows it out of the water. I love reading what you have to say, it compels me to get back to writing, haha. Thanks so much for all the times you've posted.

    I doubt the majority, if not all of you, that read this will know this. However I feel now is the time to tell you. After this chapter, I plan on concluding the story completely in two more. That pretty much means that chapter 16 will call the ending of this story. However, I'll not tell you much outside of that I'm thinking of extending the universe in which Mikoto, and the rest of reach live. I suppose you could say I've dropped a hint to my ideas in this chapter, however that much is up to you to find.

    And with that, I shall leave you all with "the chapter that comes before the penultimate chapter."

    ~Josh

    ----------------------------

    Chapter 014: The secrets of Solar and the silent earth.

    Creed stood in the elevator of the Divinity headquarters that took the leading members of the faction from floor 126 to the 99th. He had recently heard of the planned attack on Solar, and didn’t want to take any chances. Whether or not he had witnessed the destruction of the nation was of no concern, if Solar was to be attacked, it was his job to do everything in his power to stop it. The doors opened onto the ever-white corridors of the 99th floor. Creed entered the central laboratory to find Professor Caroll and the young girl, Prude, looking over some weather charts.

    “What’re you looking at those for?” Creed asked, walking over to the two.

    “Something is… odd. If you look here, over the Charity Ocean, you’ll see a large concentration of extreme pressure rising from this central spot. The area has always been known for the high pressure it tends to breed, however this amount is astronomical to say the least. Something is there.” Caroll sat for several minutes looking at the spot she had pointed to.

    “There is an old underwater excavation site there. It’s where we found the dark matter we infused within Andromeda.” Creed paused, looking at the map once more. “I wonder if our activity down there has anything to do with these weather surges.”

    “Carbine informed us that moving the dark matter from that spot would be perfectly safe and have no effect upon the environment of Charity whatsoever.” Caroll looked up at Creed, wearing a puzzled expression on her face. “Is it possible Carbine made a mistake?”

    “I think that is too much of an assumption to make for the time being. We have more pressing matters to attend to. It seems our friends from High Charity are planning to attack this city. I would like for you and Prude to prepare to leave, if only for a short while.” Creed paused once more. “It’s a strange move on their part… doing something this forward. It isn’t right. They’re planning something, else they wouldn’t bother attacking.”

    “What’s High Charity?” Prude asked, looking up at Creed, and then Professor Caroll.

    “A city Prude, just like Solar, only much bigger.” Caroll smiled at the six year old girl.

    “So are they gonna come get us?” Prude replied, fear striking her voice.

    “Not as long as Creed is here to protect us.” Caroll smiled once more, and then turned to Creed. “Have you spoken with Carbine about this?”

    “Not yet, I am on my way to find him now, I thought he may be here… do you know his whereabouts?”

    “I haven’t got any idea.” Caroll answered. “He’s probably in the central office.”

    “He isn’t, I checked.”

    “That’s weird.” The professor stood and took Prude’s hand. “Well, if I see him I’ll let him know what you’ve told me. I need to go for a while, one of the lower labs said they needed me for something or other.”

    “Carbine asked them to speed up production of their creatures. I think he’s planning on using them to finish off Reach for good. That being said, I highly doubt that after the last time the creations of the lower labs came up against Reach, they’ll do any good. It’s a waste of money, and I still wonder why he insists on using the sub-par creations when he knows you and the team up here can do a far better job. Anyway, see you.” Creed sighed and walked out of the room.

    “Mommy, are you sure Creed will protect us from the meanies?” Prude asked, looking up at the professor.

    “I’ve told you Prude, I’m not your mother. Anyway, yes.” Caroll smiled, “Creed will be just fine. Come on, time to go.”

    ***

    “I can’t believe they’re actually going to do this.” Beatrix said, as she stared out of the window of their room in the grand palace of High Charity. The place had become a new home for the group of friends, even though they had only been there a little more than a week.

    “Well, that’s how it goes I guess.” Gala shrugged at Beatrix. He was the only member of Reach who hadn’t taken to the news of the attack on Solar in bad light. “Now, are we going to help in this attack, or are we going to stay behind?”

    “That goes without saying kiddo.” Mikoto replied, “We’re helping. We have a ship, we have the skills, and from the looks of things the military of High Charity is going to need all the help it can get.”

    “Indeed, however this may be an affair we should not meddle within.” Edge answered, standing from his seat and walking over to the same window as Beatrix. “We’re only four people; this is a matter between the nations. Politics is nasty business. Those soldiers have been trained to do the unthinkable, and as we have seen, the council of High Charity has also been trained in asking other people to do the unthinkable for them.”

    “Yeah but think about it big guy,” Gala retorted, “High Charity has been kicked in the nuts by Solar, repeatedly. Surely it’s about time that they did something about it.”

    “Yes but Gala, you need to realise the difference between retaliation and annihilation. Look, we haven’t been asked to help, however… Mikoto’s right.” Beatrix sighed and looked at the other three members of Reach, and then she smiled. “Besides, going to help those that have helped us, yet again, is probably going to be more fun than sitting here and watching the city being rebuilt.”

    “Oh I don’t know, I mean those cranes? They’re awesome Beatrix.” Gala smiled at the notion set forward by Beatrix.

    “Then let’s start something.” Mikoto grinned. As the four began to wonder what was in store for them the next day, Sage entered the room, closely followed by Mary and Pepper.

    “What are you four doing?” Sage asked, looking at the four members of Reach.

    “We’re going to Solar.” Beatrix replied, smiling at the old man.

    “Oh man oh man oh man can we come with?” Pepper asked, jumping up and down on the spot.

    “Over my dead body.” Gala replied, his happy disposition quickly evaporating at the thought of having Pepper in the same confined ship as him with no escape aside from out the window and into the ocean.

    “Gala, why are you so mean to me nowadays?” Pepper asked, frowning at Gala.

    “Hmm… yeah Gala, why are you so mean to Pepper?” Mikoto said, turning to Gala. “I think it’d be a good idea for her and Mary to come with us to Solar.”

    “Don’t do this to me Mikoto.” Gala whispered angrily. Mikoto simply laughed and turned to Mary and Pepper.

    “Unless you want to see a lot of people be killed in a blaze of hellfire and all the rest of that bullshit, I really think you should stay here in High Charity, where it’s safe.” Mikoto nodded and smiled at the two friends still stood in the doorway.

    “What’s happening in Solar?” Mary asked, suddenly realising she had no real idea of why her friends were even going.

    “Let’s just say you can’t underestimate the limits of aggression of an animal created in the image of God himself Mary.” Sage replied. “Nor can you underestimate the feeling of attraction between the animal in question to the marvel of what he has made.”

    “…what?” Mary replied, looking slightly confused.

    “High Charity has something that they’re going to use to reduce Solar to… well, what Solar reduced High Charity to.” Beatrix replied.

    “The limits of aggression refers to a retaliation of this magnitude, and well, the feeling of attraction… man has a nasty habit of loving the things he can build, or do with the things he has built.” Sage sat in one of the large armchairs. He looked at Beatrix, Edge, Gala and Mikoto in turn. “I do not wish for you to go to the frontline. If you must, then I would like two of you to embark on a request of my own.”

    “What mission?” Beatrix asked, looking at Sage with a slight intrigue.

    “I would like you to take me to an area of the Charity Ocean. I’ve noticed some… unexpected events in the weather, and I think I know why. They’re coming from the same place that the explorer I told you of, Alexander Saner the third entered the Dark Matter mines so long ago.” Sage paused for a moment, “I think the Divinity scoundrels found that entrance. The weather patterns shouldn’t have been affected though. I doubt they’re actually up to something down there, however they may have done something that could have disrupted the Dark Matter fields. I should like to see the place for myself. Indeed, you could call this a dying wish. I would like to see those amazing caverns once more before I die.”

    “Once more?” Gala asked, looking at Sage with raised eyebrows.

    “Indeed. I am Alexander Saner the third. The same explorer that first discovered the caverns, and brother of the High Charity council leader.” Sage sighed, and smiled at his four friends. “It is a name I lost long ago.”

    “That would make you one of the lost elementals from those times then Alexander.” Edge said, looking at Sage, and surprising everyone in the room with his words.

    “That much is also true my dear friend. However the powers that come with being one of the ancients were also lost, many centuries ago. Along with the name I once carried.” Sage looked up at Beatrix. “Will you accept my mission?”

    “I and Mikoto will take you to the place you want to go, Gala and Edge will help High Charity in any way they can.” Beatrix said, looking at Sage. Her eyes stared into his, as he smiled at her words, she didn’t return it. “As far as I am aware, the High Charity attack begins tomorrow, this may be the last time we see each other for a while, so let’s have some fun in what’s left of this city.” With that, Beatrix broke her gaze from Sage and left the room, into her own sleeping quarters.

    “Would you like me to explain anything to you?” Sage asked, looking at the remaining people in the room.

    “I’ll pass; I’m going to get ready. Coming with Pepper, Mikoto?” Mary asked, looking at her two friends. Pepper and Mikoto nodded and followed Mary into the second room, only Gala, Edge and Sage remained in the central area of the abode. Edge still remained with his gaze fixed on Edge. Gala stood motionless for a few seconds before shrugging and heading into his own room.

    “How many more little surprises are you going to throw our way Alexander?” Edge asked, looking Sage in the eyes.

    “There are no more surprises Edge.” Sage sighed. “Go have fun with your friends; Beatrix was right when she said you may not see each other for a good while. I will see you all tomorrow before we depart.” Sage nodded at Edge and left the room, Edge rolled his eyes and returned to staring out at the remains of the city below.

    A few hours passed and the clock rolled around to just after eight at night. Gala sat in one of the large armchairs, watching the city outside. Several large ships flew by, and the sun slipping over the horizon caused the city to fall into a beautiful twilight. With all things considered, High Charity in its current state looked as it did the first time they had laid eyes on the amazing city – peaceful. Mary emerged from her room and sat opposite Gala, smiling at him.

    “You know what I was told about nights out in High Charity?” Mary asked, staring at Gala. “They’re nights out with no fights, there are parties with no lights, lucky for you some of the women have bear legs, you know, with no tights, and apparently you can fall in love at first sight. There’s real alcohol, something they call Charity rum, and there’s something about the hum that lies between bass and drum that sets a certain magic into the air.”

    “That’s some nice poetry Mary.” Gala replied, smiling.

    “I also got myself a job tonight. Say hello to the best bartender in High Charity grand palace.” Mary flicked back her hair. The lights in the room came on and Gala was able to see what she was wearing properly for the first time since she had came into the room. She had curled her hair, and was wearing a short crimson coloured dress.

    “You look really nice.” Gala stuttered, staring at Mary.

    “More than can be said for you Gala.” Mary laughed. Gala had worn what he always ended up wearing whenever he was going out - dark jeans and a white shirt.

    “Hey, you like it. I know fine well you do. This is the first time since we even started going out at night that you’ve said anything apart from ‘you look really good Gala!’ So there you go.” Gala rolled his eyes as he spoke, and did his best impression of Mary’s voice. It was heavily covered with a Solar accent.

    “I’d have to agree with Gala Mary, you do look nice, and you do almost always claim he looks really good whenever we’re going out, of course he looks good all the time.” Pepper’s voice came from somewhere in the room, Gala looked frantically around for where the source was. A second later he found out as she came crashing down on him from behind. Pepper had dressed largely in the same way as Mary, although her dress was black, and her hair had been straightened. Gala tried to push her off of his knees, however failed at it, and caused Pepper to cling onto him even tighter. He eventually gave up hope and just accepted that he’d have to deal with her wrapped around him all night.

    “Oh damn, I need to go down to the bar and get things ready. We open in like fifteen minutes. See you down there!” Mary jumped out of her seat and ran out of the room. Gala looked up at Pepper, who smiled at him and loosened her grip around him. Mikoto entered the room next, as did Beatrix. They both had ended up wearing jeans and a white tank top.

    “Oh wow you guys really put some effort into what you’re wearing!” Pepper said, looking at them both.

    “I don’t like dressing up.” Mikoto and Beatrix replied in unison, and then broke into laughter.

    “Ready to go then?” Gala asked.

    ”What about Edge?” Beatrix replied, turning her head to one side slightly.

    “He’s already down at the bar. You know what he’s like.” Gala answered, before picking up Pepper and getting up. He carried her to the door of the room and placed her down. “Can you make it all the way downstairs or do you need to be carried there too?”

    “I think I’ll be fine, but thank you anyway.” Pepper walked out of the room and headed down the corridor. The four walked and talked, eventually coming to the central elevator. They emerged a few minutes later onto the ground floor of the palace. What was usually a bustling mile wide marketplace had been converted into a massive club. Bars lined the walls, where stalls once were. Directly opposite the elevator entrance, and where the four friends stood was a huge neon sign. It stood out against the rest of the bars, and was the only familiar thing that any of the members of Reach had seen since entering High Charity. The sign read ‘Reunion.’ Gala, Mikoto, Beatrix and Pepper quickly moved through the crowds of people towards the bar, and soon enough saw Mary behind, serving a huge number of people, and Edge sat as he always did, on the far corner.

    “F
    uck me running; this is like… at a guess fifty clubs, all in one area. Damn…” Gala looked around the mile wide area, it was hard to believe that all of this was still in the confines of the palace.

    “Yeah that’s just fantastic hey okay lets dance yeah cool see you guys later!” Pepper said, blindingly fast. Before Gala had chance to understand what had just happened Pepper had took off, dragging him behind her towards the large dance floor in the central area.

    Mikoto and Beatrix sat down next to Edge at the bar. Mary immediately came over and served her friends, causing several members of the public, already queuing, to raise a stir. However the spirit of the evening quickly drowned out any hostility. Everyone in High Charity was talking about how the military were going to annihilate Solar the following day; the idea of failure wasn’t present in the minds of anyone.

    “You know,” Mikoto said, turning to Beatrix, “Sage has kept a lot of secrets from us up until these past few weeks or so.”

    “Yeah, and I’ve been amazed at the secrets he’s kept, too.” Beatrix replied. “That being said, I guess up until now he had no reason to tell us. None of us really talk about the past; we’re always just focused on the present. Still… it’s becoming a little too much for me to get my head around, and I doubt a night out on the town will help that, but hey, we’re off to war tomorrow!”

    “Well, Edge and Gala are…” Mikoto sighed. “You and I, we’re going into the depths of the planet. It should be fun.”

    “Yeah, this much is true. Still, we’re going to… oh whatever I don’t need reason to get drunk. However I do need reason to go into a minefield of Black Holes.” Beatrix paused and took a drink of an Emerald green concoction in a strange shaped glass. I suppose Sage just wanting to see them once more is good enough, but he said he thinks something’s up… I wonder what he thinks we’ll find.”

    “I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. Until then though, I’m getting bored of thinking about the business side of the world. So I’m gonna go rescue Gala and then have some fun. See you in a bit.” Mikoto jumped down from the dark green bar stool and disappeared into the crowd of people. Beatrix looked around. The bar was exactly the same as it had been back in Solar. Nothing was out of place. It was a little weird, but that was the last thought upon the matter Beatrix had.

    “You know, drinking that stuff can cause hallucination.”

    “What?” Beatrix replied. It was Edge. She had all but forgotten he had been sat beside her for the past half hour.

    “Absinthe. It’s nice, but too much, and you’re off thinking magical green pixies are sat beside you.” Edge had a large tankard, full of what Beatrix expected to be ale.

    “Oh yeah, you’re giving me lectures on drinking and you have yourself a good pint or two of ale in that thing.” Beatrix laughed. Edge smirked and went back to his own devices. A little while passed and Beatrix was feeling a bit bored. Mikoto, Pepper and Gala were away on the dance floor. The thought of Pepper and Gala amused her for a little while, but the feeling of boredom quickly returned. Mary was busy serving customers and getting drunk, Edge was lost in a world of his own, and everyone else was a total stranger. Eventually it was Mary that came back to keep her company. She asked Beatrix to help her out behind the bar, and that was how Beatrix alleviated her boredom.

    Gala, Pepper and Mikoto had all been separated and spread across the mile that was the dance floor. Music came from everywhere in the area it seemed, and yet there was no sign of what it was that produced it. Mikoto had found Snorf and several of his friends, and had spent the past hour or so with the entire seventeen of them. Gala had met up with several girls who had become interested in his tales of Solar, and so he had completely disappeared from the scene, and as for Pepper, she was one of the girls supposedly interested in how amazing Gala was.

    “You know, Beatrix. Look at that couple over there.” Mary said, sitting beside Beatrix as they both looked on at the masses of people all having a good time. Mary had pointed to a young couple. The girl was tall, blonde. The man of the two was dark haired, and also tall. Together they talked and laughed, and behaved like a genuine couple.

    “What about them?” Beatrix replied, first looking at the couple and then to Mary.

    “It’s just so damn fake. Just ten minutes ago the guy was flirting with me at the bar, asking me to meet him later, and generally being, well you know. And she was just wandering around practically throwing herself at everyone. Yet, they came in together, and they’re together now. When they’re apart, it’s like their partner doesn’t even exist.” Mary’s voice seemed to rise in what seemed like anger as she spoke.

    “What’s your point?” Beatrix asked, “That’s just what most things regarding love are nowadays. Superficial, pointless, and altogether nothing like what they should be, but then you get into all the business of how a relationship should be and the rest of it.”

    “Well… what do you think a relationship should be?” Mary looked at Beatrix, raising her eyebrows slightly.

    “What’re you looking so smug for?” Beatrix laughed a little. “Well, I figure a relationship should be something that makes two people happy. It’s sort of a compromise… it comes down to love and how much you love someone, what you’d do for them. The compromise comes from what you’re giving up to make the other person happy. But in all fairness I don’t think I really know, nor am in a position to ultimately care. Relationships are whatever you want them to be, if both parties want it to work, regardless of the other factors, it will.” Beatrix took a deep breath and then had a drink, waiting for a reply. Instead, Mary simply nodded and smiled, before walking back to get another drink. Beatrix shrugged and looked out once more at the abyss of bodies.

    “I couldn’t have put that better myself.”

    Beatrix turned and saw Edge, still holding the same Tankard from earlier. He was smiling slightly, and eventually came to sit down beside Beatrix. They sat in silence for some time, just listening to the various conversations and the music that bounced around in the airwaves. Mary never came back to talk, she resumed taking care of the customers at the bar. Time seemed to have been lost, as nobody seemed to be leaving, and the night seemed young, even though a good few hours had passed since it begun.

    “Wonder what’ll happen tomorrow.” Edge finally said, breaking the silence between the two.

    “You’ll go fight in the Great War and become a hero, I and Mikoto will go into the depths. Whatever we find, it’s likely that you’ll find something better.” Beatrix replied, sighing as she finished.

    “What will I find? A lot of dead people.” Edge replied, looking slightly at Beatrix. “A lot of dead people that were all fighting for their right to live the life they want. But the only life they ever got was one that sent them to die, while the big boys, the generals; they all stand back, hundreds of miles from the battlefront, sending off wave after wave of men to be killed.”

    “Everyone won’t die.” Beatrix answered, “High Charity will win the day, you’ve heard about what Alexander is planning to do.”

    “You’ve seen what the Solar army is capable of. You’ve fought with some of the troops before.” Edge sighed. “Whatever Alexander does, it doesn’t change the fact that a lot of people are going to die tomorrow. I doubt you’ve forgot that Solar too is a city, just like this one. It too has, though it does pain me slightly to say this, an innocent population.”

    “Fuck… I never saw it that way.” Beatrix whispered. Her entire heart seemed to sink into her stomach. “…an innocent population that has no military value whatsoever. The entire Solar army… it’s manufactured.” Beatrix paused. Her mouth was dry, her stomach suddenly felt like lead. “There isn’t anything we can even do about it… is there?”

    “We can’t anymore. The preparations for tomorrow are completed. Everything has been signed too. It’s been done Beatrix. Tomorrow is going to be the day that this happens, who would have thought that it would come to this though.” Edge sighed. “It’s one or the other. Some would say that the saints are coming, but I think you and I both know that they’re not.”

    “So tomorrow is when Solar is taken from the planet. You and Gala will have front row seats. I and Mikoto will be miles and miles from it all. Nothing we can do about it.” Beatrix had been biting her lip, and had eventually bitten so hard that she had broken the skin. A small trickle of blood now ran down her chin. “Nothing we can do about it except accept and deal with it, while doing what’s asked of us.”

    “Get some sleep. In eight hours everything begins. I suspect this is the last we will see of each other for some time.” Edge’s voice broke off. “I’ll miss you. Same for Mikoto too.”

    “I’ll tell her, and I can guarantee you that we both will be saying the same about you and Gala.” Beatrix tried to smile, however failed and resumed biting her lip. “Will we see you both again?”

    “I’m not going to become a ghost of someone you once held dear Beatrix, and I think the last thing Gala wants is anything to do with death; he’s too young to die anyway. We’ll be fine; I’m more concerned about you and Mikoto… you both are going into the most unstable area of this planet.” Edge seemed to trail off into thought, however Beatrix replied quickly enough to stop him doing so.

    “We’ll be fine. That much is a promise.” Beatrix managed to smile as she spoke, and looked once more at Edge, who returned the gaze.

    “Then I’ll see you again when this world is at peace with itself again.” Edge smiled and stood up, placing his now empty tankard on the side of the bar. “Until then though, you can’t underestimate the limits of aggression of an animal created in the image of God himself.” Edge nodded in the direct of Beatrix and disappeared into the crowd of people, leaving Beatrix wondering when it was the four friends would be reunited and be as they once were.

    ***

    The entire room rumbled and a dark shadow passed across the window with a deafening roar. A second later and it had vanished. The commotion had caused Mikoto to awaken. She jumped at the sound of the object outside and fell out of bed, crashing down to the floor. As she sat up, wondering what was going on, the rumbling caused a glass from the bedside table to fall and hit her on the head. Mikoto stood and ran to the window, pulling open the large ornate curtains. As she looked on at the city before her she was overtaken by an immense sight.

    The entire High Charity air fleet was departing the city. Hundreds upon hundreds of great warships flew towards the great wall of the city. In the middle stood the capital ship, stretching across a large portion of the city. It was easily the same size as the capital ship that had belonged to the Solar military before it was nuked. Smaller ships were grouped together in formations of at least fifty, according to Mikoto’s eyes at least. The skies, although clear blue, were barely visible through the sheer amount of ships in flight. Mikoto stood at her window for at least half an hour and watched the entire fleet pass by. As the final few ships flew by she turned and entered the central area of the abode that the members of Reach had grown so accustomed to since living in High Charity. Beatrix was stood at the large window of the room, her eyes set on the last of the fleet. Mikoto figured she had been woken up in much the same fashion, minus the glass on the head.

    “Where are Gala and Edge?” Mikoto asked, joining Beatrix at the window.

    “They’re somewhere in that fleet.” Beatrix replied, a hint of sorrow tainting her voice.

    “You mean they never said goodbye?” They did. Gala said goodbye to you this morning, but he didn’t want to wake you. Edge had asked him not to make a scene of it, because they were running late as it is.” Beatrix looked at Mikoto and her face brightened a little. “Gala told me that he promises to come back safely, I doubt he’d break it.”

    “Well here’s hoping. When do we leave?” Mikoto asked, returning her gaze to the now clear skies above High Charity.

    “The Angel Tears is ready and the co-ordinates are all uploaded. Sage is down there at the moment, he says to come whenever we’re ready.” Beatrix said, before turning and walking into her room. A moment later she returned with a pile of clothes. “You should get dressed too, no point hanging around here anymore.”

    “What about Mary and Pepper?” Mikoto asked, looking at Beatrix.

    “They’re in the dock helping with the preparations; they’ll be seeing us off.” Beatrix’ reply lifted Mikoto’s spirits slightly. She and Beatrix both turned and went off to get dressed. A short while later and they were both walking down the corridors of the Palace, towards the dock that housed their ship – the Angel Tears. Mikoto had worn what she was accustomed to; jeans and a short sleeved shirt. Her hair had been placed into a pony tail and she suddenly looked a lot younger than seventeen. Beatrix had worn much the same, her hair however remained as it always was, straight and down to her shoulders. The clothes didn’t seem to fit the weapons that they both carried, however the general ideal of them both had always been substance over style, and they both highly doubted anyone of great importance would be a mile beneath the surface of the planet.

    As the two friends entered the dock they were greeted by the familiar red ship, which was already in a position to take off. The dock had become humid as a result of the heat of the engines, and Mikoto had guessed they had been running for some time. Pepper jumped down from the top of the ship and waved across at Mikoto and Beatrix before calling to Mary. Mary came down the entrance ramp of the Angel Tears and smiled as Mikoto and Beatrix approached.

    “Took your time getting here!” Mary shouted, smiling as she did so.

    “Yeah and you’re wasting fuel by letting those engines run for so long.” Replied Mikoto, as she and Beatrix came to the bottom of the ships ramp.

    “I figured you’d have less prep time if the ship was already ready to go.” Pepper answered, sticking her tongue out as she did so.

    “Anxious to see us leave?” Beatrix replied, raising her eyebrows and then laughing at Pepper’s sudden expression.

    “You’ll be alright won’t you?” Mary asked, looking at her two friends.

    “Yeah, we’ll be alright, what’s going to be down there anyway? It’s just going to be a simple sightseeing tour.” Mikoto said, shrugging as she did so.

    “What makes you so sure?” Mary replied, looking at Mikoto’s carefree nature with hidden awe.

    “Because I’m aw-” but Mikoto was cut off by Beatrix, who finished the sentence for her.

    “… awesome. Typical Mikoto reply.” Beatrix laughed. “She knows because a statistical anomaly in the weather isn’t anything to get over concerned about.”

    “Touché.” Mary replied. “Well, the ship is all ready to go, so I guess… this is goodbye for a while.”

    “We’ll not be gone too long, although I figure we’ll be dragged into this war one way or the other, so yeah… I guess so.” Mikoto’s spirits were once more dampened by the thoughts of the goodbye that was coming up.

    “Ah well, so long as we see each other again someday, it’ll all be well and good.” Pepper said, smiling in an attempt to lift spirits.

    “That much is true, and I don’t really want to make a scene of this, Edge was pretty smart when he said not to in all honesty. So we’ll see you both soon alright?” Beatrix tried to place her voice in a high spirited tone, and for the most part it worked, although there was a slight hint of regret at the events that had led to this split of everyone from Reach.

    “Damn right, and by that time Reunion will be back and better than ever.” Mary said, with a huge smile spread across her face. “See you both soon alright?” With that, Mary hugged both Beatrix and Mikoto and stepped back, allowing Pepper to do the same. Mikoto and Beatrix didn’t say anything else, and instead simply smiled at their two friends. They both boarded the Angel Tears as Pepper and Mary watched from the doors of the dock. Sage was sat in a seat within the cockpit of the ship. He turned and smiled as he saw Beatrix and Mikoto.

    “I was wondering if you’d ever arrive.” Sage said, his eyes glinting in the light of the ship. The temperature of the ships interior was a lot cooler than that of the dock. Air conditioning provided an extremely comfortable living environment within the confined space that was the Angel Tears.

    “Just saying our bit to Mary and Pepper, sorry to keep you waiting ‘guv.” Mikoto said, smiling at the old man that sat before her before sitting down in the pilot seat of the ship.

    “It’s quite alright. Did you both sleep well?” Sage asked, looking towards Beatrix this time.

    “Yeah it’s all good, and we’re ready as ever. Let’s get this show on the road Mikoto.” Beatrix replied, prompting a nod from Mikoto. Beatrix sat down and strapped herself into the co-pilots seat. The second the seat straps were secure Mikoto took off and blasted the ship through the doors of the dock and into the skies at a great speed. The city below seemed nought but a blur as the Angel Tears reached a phenomenal speed and flew across the great wall of High Charity. The grey blur that was the city became the blue of the ocean as Mikoto took the ship closer to the surface of the water. The skies began to turn from light blue into tones of grey, and before long the three were flying through a torrential rainstorm. The ocean started to become a lot rougher and Mikoto had to take the ship up by a few hundred feet to avoid being caught in one of the enormous waves. As they pressed onwards the source of the amazing storm came into view.

    “What the f
    uck is that thing?” Mikoto gasped, as her eyes were set upon the sight ahead.

    “It’s where we are going. A hurricane it seems.” Sage paused in thought. “This is unexpected to say the least. These weather phenomenons are not supposed to happen on this planet. Pressure levels are normally stable enough across the entire world. I have only heard tales of what destruction they are capable of from various intergalactic travellers I have met in my time. According to what I am told, there is a large calm area within the direct centre of the storm. I assume that area is where we should head, however we cannot simply fly through those winds. Hurricanes can apparently spin at great speeds… hmm.”

    “Well what do we do then?” Mikoto asked, looking at Sage and slowing the Angel Tears down to minimum speed. The great wall of wind that stood before them was all that they could see, and the ship rocked with incredible force as the air turbulence grew stronger.

    “Take the ship upwards, and see if we can fly directly over the storm.” Sage nodded as he spoke. “Perhaps we will be able to see the eye of the hurricane from the skies.” Mikoto shrugged and brought the ship back to maximum speed before pulling back on the control and causing the ship to shoot into the skies. They seemed to travel parallel with the wall of wind that blocked their way. As the altitude increased the severity of the storm decreased until the rain stopped and they shot through a large cloud. The sight before them almost blinded them as the sunlight reflected from the white tops of the clouds and bounced into their eyes. As their eyes adjusted to the light and the ship levelled out and decelerated to minimum speed once more, the sight from up here was breathtaking.

    Above, they could see the sky seem to disappear and enter a black abyss, littered with tiny stars. Below was the storm they had moments ago been in front of. The clouds spiralled outwards for what seemed like miles from a single area. It seemed like a whirlpool formed from the sky itself. Beatrix, Sage and Mikoto all looked on in sheer disbelief at the sight their eyes were placed upon.

    “We’re at the edge of the planet, in the rift between the atmosphere and space.” Sage said, never taking his eyes from the sight of the storm. “This is incredible… I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life…”

    “Space…? There’s something I want to do.” Mikoto said, looking upwards at the end of the sky.

    “What?” Beatrix asked, before realising what Mikoto had in mind. “Are you sure this ship even has that kind of life support?”

    “Of course it does. This is a state of the art battleship, it has everything.” Mikoto answered, smiling. She looked at Sage who simply nodded and smiled. Mikoto turned to look out at the skies once more, and accelerated the ship, taking it higher still. They flew through a final haze before the sight of the universe became as clear to their eyes as the light of day. As the three looked on at what lay before their eyes they were left completely speechless. The system that the planet of Charity belonged to was full of life. It looked so small, but they could see another planet in the distance, with what looked like cities upon the surface. A second planet seemed to be in line with that, and was almost the direct opposite. While one planet was grey and lined with lights, the second was clearly a lush world, and glowed a vibrant green. Strangely coloured clouds floated around everywhere, and there was an abundance of ships not unlike the Angel tears flying this way and that. It was as if each planet in itself was a city, and that the space between was nothing but travel space for the billions of people and the like that lived within the confines of the universe.

    “Why have we never heard of anything like this before…?” Beatrix said, staring out into the abyss.

    “Because the Solar government doesn’t like it.” Sage replied, “counteracts the faith in there being one planet as a God, doesn’t it?”

    “What of High Charity?” Beatrix asked, looking at Sage, “I’m under the impression that they’ve been able to travel into space for years now.”

    “They have, however under jurisdiction of Solar they weren’t allowed.” Sage nodded and continued. “People came into High Charity from space, bringing such technology with them, but none ever left. It could be said that since the beginning of the Planetist faith, we have been the first three people ever to leave the atmosphere of Charity.”

    “Surely the fact that people coming from space would cast doubt over the faith with their stories though?” Beatrix replied.

    “Indeed, but then, when in High Charity wasn’t there a shadow of doubt hanging over the faith?” Sage smiled slightly. “High Charity never truly was a Planetist state… it just went along with Solar to stop what has happened since the rise of Divinity. It makes sense, when you put it into perspective.”

    “Go figure. Well, when all this is over I’d like to see what the rest of those planets are like.” Mikoto smiled, and looked at Beatrix, “Ready to go into the eye of the storm?”

    “We don’t have a lot of time to waste, Gala and Edge should be on the frontlines in less than half an hour.” Beatrix’ smiled faded at this thought, however she quickly regained herself, knowing her two friends would be alright, especially considering all that they had been through thus far. “Let’s move it kiddo.” With that, Beatrix strapped herself back into the co-pilot seat and no sooner had sage done the same in one of the several cabin seats had Mikoto propelled the ship back into the atmosphere of the planet, making straight for where the clouds spiralled outward from. As she approached the eye of the hurricane, she realised that it was larger than she had expected, at least a mile in diameter. She smiled, realising that manoeuvring into the area was going to be a lot easier. She brought the ship up and looped in the skies before breaking into a nose dive directly down the eye of the hurricane.

    Around the ship slowly became a swirling wall of greys, occasionally lit up by the lightning strikes happening within the confines of the storm. The ship increased in speed as the altitude meter plummeted. The ocean was still nowhere in sight, and Mikoto began to wonder. After the altitude meter showed they were less than one thousand feet from sea level, and the ocean was still nowhere to be found, Mikoto began to slightly worry. However she let the ship carry on increasing in velocity. The meter read just five hundred feet, two hundred feet, one hundred, fifty, and zero. The meter stopped and still the ship went downwards, suddenly engulfed by an eerie darkness. Mikoto quickly applied the brakes and pulled the ship level out of its nosedive. Hovering in the darkness, Mikoto looked out of the window, and upwards. The eye of the hurricane was still visible through a small hole of light. Mikoto searched the control panels for the spotlights on the Angel Tears, and once they illuminated the area they were now within, Mikoto, Sage and Beatrix gasped in disbelief.

    ***

    “We’re fucked if we don’t move out, don’t you understand that?”

    “What are we are going to do? Storm off to stop an armada? We’re not ready for this!” Creed shouted. A soldier had entered the military headquarters of the Divinity building, bringing news of the imminent attack on Solar from High Charity. The information had brought widespread panic across the entirety of Divinity. Carbine and Andromeda were nowhere to be found, and Creed had not anticipated an attack so soon. Professor Caroll and Prude had followed his wishes and left the city entirely, settling north in a small rural village with no name, lost on maps after villages became obsolete.

    “What are we going to do? They’re going to be here within the next thirty minutes!” The soldier shouted once more, causing Creed to become even more frustrated. He turned and looked at the soldier.

    “Place the entirety of Solar on red alert, and mobilise as many of our troops as possible. Open up the missile silos outside the city and arm as many of them as possible. Then open up all airship docks and get as much of the fleet into the air as possible. You’ve got fifteen minutes commander, and I expect to see some results.” Creed saluted the commander and turned, heading for the top of the Divinity headquarters. As he ran up the flights of stairs, the buzz of the red alert alarms started, and the city rang with what could have easily been hells bells. Outside the city walls, huge battlements rose from beneath the turf of the Zodiac plains, and lit up against the orange skies. Creed smiled as he saw the city transform from the bustling metropolis it was renowned to be into the complete battle station that he and Hydrus had planned out, so many years ago.

    Creed reached the rooftop of the headquarters and stared out into the setting sun. The High Charity fleet had broke the horizon, and loomed up against the skies. The battlements outside the city walls continued to rise up, and light up. A mile below, in the streets of the city, barely visible through the mist of the low clouds, people were deserting the nightclubs and the stores, and returning to their homes. For the first time since Solar became as large as it is, the downtown district had become silent.

    A small light flare came from one of the ships of the High Charity fleet, and a minute or so later Creed came into realisation as to what it was. A large missile was sailing through the air, and only a second after Creed realised what it was, it impacted upon a large battlement, sending the tower to crash into the ground. Creed watched as the tower rocked and fell, crashing into a tower close to it and causing a domino effect. Forever seemed to pass as, one by one, the battlements around the city collapsed in an explosive ring of dust and fire. As the final battlement fell, Creed placed his head into his hands, before looking up once more. The High Charity fleet was extremely close to the outer perimeter defence of the city now. With one missile the entire inner perimeter was lost. Creed looked onwards, wondering where the Solar air fleet was and why it hadn’t mobilised yet. He decided that he should be down in the base, boosting the morale of his troops. He turned, gave one last look behind him at the impending doom, and entered the building once more.

    Several minutes passed and eventually Creed entered the underground facility. Stepping out of the high-speed elevator, his eyes met with ships slowly rising out of dock hatches in the ceilings, and thousands upon thousands of soldiers, elemental and human, stood in rows upon rows and awaiting orders. The commander Creed had received the news from earlier stepped down from the large announcement podium upon seeing Creed enter, and saluted the Divinity general as he stepped up and looked upon his army. He shouted out only four words before saluting and stepping down once more.

    “This is for Solar!”

    His small battle cry was met with the cheers of sixty thousand, causing Creed to smile. The commander approached and gave Creed a small sheet of paper.

    “Sir, it seems that there is also a ground-based attack imminent, foot soldiers are being deployed from the capital ship. We have unconfirmed reports of rebel groups joining the battles from within the city walls, blowing up government property and assassination of officials is evident primarily in the northern residential district.”

    “Thank you commander, are all things ready for the retaliation?” Creed asked. The commander was a human man, tall and in possession of a proud stature.

    “Just say the word and we are ready to lock and load sir.”

    ***

    Con't in next post.
    Last edited by PLANES CURE TOWERS; 18th April 2007 at 12:26 PM.

  15. #40
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    “What is our plan of action general Reich?”

    “We shall open with Omega Triton. How far from the city are we?” The General of the High Charity army stood tall in the bridge of the capital ship. He wore a large grey coat, hung over his green uniform. His insect like face held a grin he had become notorious for wearing whenever war was afoot.

    “Four hundred and fifty miles sir, shall I open up the hatch for the weapons now?”

    “Yes, prepare to fire immediately.”

    “Understood.”

    “Wait a second, what is that rising from the ground?” Reich asked, looking out into the distance via the screen magnifier.

    “It seems like a perimeter defence sir, anything you would like to do?”

    “Lets play shall we? Open up a missile on it, aim for the one directly ahead, and target the left hand side of the structure.” Reich smiled once more. “And begin preparations for our trump card.” The general watched as the missile launched from the hatch, and several minutes later a ring of explosions engulfed the city. “Give whoever it was that set those co-ordinates a rank promotion to commander, that was… er… f[/font]ucking brilliant.”

    “Omega Triton is online and waiting for permission to engage sir.”

    “Alright.” Reich paused, looking on at the city. He began to speak when a soldier interrupted.

    “Sir, if I may, why is it necessary for the entire army to be here if this one weapon is going to annihilate the city?”
    “Rats.” Reich replied, causing a slightly confused look to spread across several soldiers’ faces. “They come out to hunt, but when they’re scared they hide underground. Just like the Divinity ba[font=verdana]stards. Omega Triton will not be able to penetrate the defences that they have set up to protect their military base from such things. While the city will be ultimately destroyed, along with the majority of the headquarters, and all abominations that they have produced within those walls, the military force itself will still need to be compromised.”

    “Understood sir. Omega Triton is ready, do you wish to engage?” Reich looked on once more, narrowing his eyes upon the city, as if savouring one last look at the skyline. “Do you wish to engage sir?” Reich’s thoughts cast away to the attack Solar had placed upon High Charity. His city. He could feel his hatred of this nation burning up inside him, and it was all to be placed into the palm of his hand. The fate of the nation he hated so, based upon one word alone. “Sir if you wish to engage Omega Triton please inform us immediately.”

    “Engage.” Reich said, no emotion tainting his voice, his gaze never wavering from that city on the horizon. All that was felt was the rumbling of the ship as the weapons rose from the centre hold. The hatch upon the top of the capital ship slowly opened, pouring out an artificial light into the glittering twilight. Three large satellites rose from the hatch, each one colour coded by the energy core it held; one green, the other two red. Green was the primary fire, red was secondary. The satellite structures continued to rise up out of the hatch, before coming to a stop, and standing motionless against the skies for a moment. Silence filled the air. The satellites began to move again, this time adjusting the angle at which they pointed. Once the aim had been set, three large poles expanded outward from the centre of each of the three satellites, and began to glow according to the power core it held. The energy was slowly being transferred into a large purple sphere. After three minutes of charge, the sphere was blasted away from the satellites with such force that the entire capital ship rocked backwards with the recoil.

    Every single soldier, general, commander, private, and all other members of the High Charity military watched the ball of energy blaze across the sky, and become something not unlike a comet. It lit up the skies as it travelled, craning swiftly across the Zodiac plains, heading for impact upon the Divinity headquarters. It travelled the four hundred and fifty miles in what seemed like seconds, rather than minutes. Gala and Edge, stood up in the military jeep that they had been given, stared at the ball of energy, cruising towards their homeland; the city that they were born within, the city that they grew up within. The realisation that all of their life was about to be destroyed dawned upon them, and still they could not avert their gaze from the imminent destruction. Silence filled the air. It was as if the winds had stopped in their own tracks to look upon this act of destruction.

    A blinding white flash seared across the skies, and the ground began to rumble. Gala was thrown backwards in the vehicle by the force of the wind that had suddenly picked up. The ground seemed to become an uneven mess of jelly, and soldiers all around were falling over backwards, vehicles were being overturned by the extreme winds, and the airborne ships above the heads of the ground forces rocked backwards with turbulence. Reich stood his ground against the rocking of the ship and stared onwards. The flash of light seemed to collapse back on itself, and as it did so it disappeared into a speck of light against nothingness. Solar wasn’t there anymore.

    ***
    From what light the Angel Tears gave, it was enough to see that they were in what appeared to be an underground mountain range. Water cascaded from the ceiling of the cavern, the source clearly being the ocean that raged above. The cave seemed to endlessly stretch onward, with tips of what could only be identified as mountains appearing from the darkness that the light could not reach.

    “This was not what I saw when I travelled into these systems.” Sage said, barely whispering, as he looked out upon the cavern system. “Nor does this fit with the recorded depth of the ocean. According to past data the ocean depth around this area is no less than two thousand feet below ground. This… this cannot be true… it makes no sense, the planets structure could not support such a phenomenon.”

    “You’re forgetting that we passed no water on our descent, other than that belonging to the storm. It was a clean cut down into this place.” Mikoto said, looking at Sage and half-hoping he’d understand what was going on. The look on his face told her he didn’t, and she averted her gaze once more to the subterranean mountain range. She looked at Beatrix, who had not moved since her eyes first met what lay before them. “What do we do now?” Mikoto asked.

    Before an answer was given in speech, it came in action. Water began to cascade down from above the ship, and the cavern seemed to rumble. Several rocks hit the Angel Tears, before it was engulfed with water and pushed deeper down into the cave. Mikoto jumped to the controls of the ship and tried to get out of the waterfall, however the engines had completely locked up. As the ship hurtled downwards with the rushing water, the power supply within the ship clocked out too, and they were engulfed within the darkness once more, hurtling to wherever it may be that the water would end up.

    Eventually the falling came to an end with the sound of a roaring splash, followed by a sinking feeling. Mikoto regained her posture quickly and took to searching the controls in order to supply some kind of power to the ship. Beatrix searched around the darkness for Sage, and finally found him when he called out her name. Surprisingly, he was alright, none the worse than Beatrix and Mikoto were.

    “You’re a strong old man aren’t you Sage?” Beatrix laughed upon realising he was fine.

    “I try; nothing like that which I once was though Beatrix, you may not think it but this man here wrestled bears in his time.” Sage replied, and as he finished his sentence the ship came to life – Mikoto had found a way to restore power. The light shining on Beatrix face showed that she wore a confused look, causing Sage to laugh once more. “Bears are none of your concern right now; we need to figure out what we’re going to do!” Beatrix shrugged and looked at Mikoto, who was still frantically searching the control panels of the ship.

    “What’s up kiddo?” Beatrix asked, sitting herself down in one of the co-pilot seats.

    “I’ve got power, but no way to fly.” Mikoto sighed, “At this rate, well, I don’t even know where we are anymore; let alone where we’re going to end up. Just what the hell happened?”

    “The cave collapsed from what I can tell, look outside.” Sage said, pointing out of the cockpit window at the now illuminated outside world. The ship had landed in what appeared to be an underground lake, or river of some variety. All around the ship various columns and rocks were falling into the depths, as was the ship.

    “Just what the hell is going on here anyway…” Mikoto whispered, sitting down in the pilot seat and sighing. “Hurricanes, underground caverns, and now this? What’s going on with this planet…?”

    Several minutes of silence passed as the Angel Tears continued to sink deeper and deeper into the depths of the planet. It seemed as though nothing was alive down here, that even the water by which they had been engulfed was dead, which is why when light began to creep up from the depths, Beatrix, Sage and Mikoto jumped up and looked out of the cockpit window to see if they could find the source. As the ship sank, the light became stronger, and broke through the darkness of the dead water. Rocks seemed to be falling for miles around, and though there was definite light, the bottom of the lake still seemed invisible. Suddenly, one of the rocks outside hit something; however it wasn’t clear as to what had caused the break in its descent. Then, several more rocks began to do the same thing, they acted as if they were bouncing off of the bottom of the lake, however nothing was visible, aside from the light. The ship still continued to fall, and soon passed the level of the rocks altogether.

    Another minute or so passed, and the ship broke into a free fall, free of the restraints of the water. The thrusters kicked into life immediately, and Mikoto jumped at the controls of the ship, bringing the descent to a slow, steady cruise downwards. They had entered a new cavern, which had been completely illuminated by the source of the light, which was also now visible. Below, a large energy field encased a tremendous field of darkness. Above the ship, the dead waters could still be seen; however it was as if they had been stopped from entering this chamber with an invisible force field. Mikoto accelerated the ship and flew downwards, closer to the energy field surrounding the field of darkness. The chamber itself was enormous, the other side just barely visible. The ceilings and walls curved around the entirety of the area, and were all part of the same lake that Sage, Mikoto and Beatrix had recently passed through. Though the chamber itself was hollow, aside from the energy and such in the direct centre, floating platforms could be seen surrounding the entirety of the chamber. Several were just there, however the majority of the platforms had some form of structure upon them.

    As Mikoto continued to fly towards the energy field in the centre of the colossal chamber, she caught sight of a large platform directly centred in what could be called the front of the black field. A glowing light protruded from the platform from time to time, and Mikoto through she could just barely make out the figures of two men. The Angel tears accelerated once more, and reached the platform in a short amount of time, landing upon the structure. The two figures upon the platform were indeed men, one of which Mikoto instantly recognised as Creed, even though he was several hundred metres away. The other man was a mystery.

    “Carbine’s here.” Mikoto said, turning to Beatrix.

    “Go figure, where are we?” Replied Beatrix. Both she and Mikoto then turned to Sage. The old man smiled and looked at them both in turn.

    “We are in the chamber that houses the black hole of Charity.” He answered. “That field of darkness you see encased in the light energy is the black hole. I never imagined it to have such majesty… the murals that depicted this place showed that it was amazing, however this is… beyond words. If I recall correctly, the platforms situated around the black hole are control platforms of sorts, used long ago.”

    “What about all of that up there?” Beatrix questioned, looking at Sage with a slight look of accusation within her eyes. “What did we just come through? Didn’t you say that it was that area you had entered these caverns?”

    “Indeed, it seems as though the geological structure of the planet has since changed. I wonder what is happening on the surface, now that the chamber has collapsed…”

    “Never mind that for now, it isn’t any of our concern. If this is the black hole chamber, why are Carbine and that stranger here?” Beatrix asked, looking out at Carbine and the stranger stood beside him.

    “I guess we go and find out.” Mikoto replied, opening the hatch leading into the ship as she spoke. A warm air fluttered in from the chamber. The three friends left the ship and stood upon the platform. Carbine and the stranger still stood looking upon them from a raised section, with what appeared to be a large control panel of sorts; however it was crafted from stone, not metal. A slight breeze within the chamber allowed the warmth to travel, though there was no real entrance for anything of that sort. In the distance, the liquid walls of the chamber seemed to swell, and the sound of a solemn moaning filled the air. Aside from the moaning, the only other noise that stopped the place from being completely silent was the gentle hum of the energy field, coursing around the now dormant black hole.

    “You truly are the most amazing human beings I have ever met.” Carbine shouted, looking upon Reach with a slight smile creeping across his face. He was dressed as he always had been. The flawless suit and tie, his hair styled to perfection, and the shine on the black of his shoes could be seen from where Beatrix, Mikoto and Sage now stood. The strange man stood beside Creed was almost the direct opposite. He was covered from head to toe in a thick brown robe. The hood of the robe covered his face, so his identity was kept a secret from whatever prying eyes there were in the centre of the planet.

    “Who are these people?” The stranger asked, his voice quiet and coarse, as though something had been eating away at his voice for centuries. He sounded older than Sage did, and his voice was unheard by the three friends, who stood at the bottom of a stone staircase that led up to the raised area.

    “Old friends, I suppose you could say.” Carbine’s voice was calm, collected, with that effect of piercing through the airwaves. The way it had always been. “The tallest is Beatrix Lekgolo, beside her is Mikoto Ossoona, you know, the one I informed you of? The old man is the very same Alexander Saner that first discovered the mysteries of the underworld. I wonder where the other two miscreants that these two ladies are usually in the company of are this fine day… I wonder even more so how on earth that ship got them through what it did, and why they are here.” As Carbine finished his sentence, he raised his voice enough to allow Mikoto, Sage and Beatrix to hear him half ask why they were there.

    “Investigation of the hurricane was the main reason, though I suppose the objective ended up shifting and so now, we’re here wondering the same thing about you. Why are you here Carbine? What do you plan on doing with the Black Hole?” Beatrix began to walk up the staircase, followed quickly by Mikoto. Sage did not follow, instead hanging back at the bottom, and looking onwards. His own safety being the reason, he felt.

    “Ah, the hurricane… yes that was a fine piece of art wasn’t it? Use an extremely powerful hurricane to separate the sea itself and open the entrance into the mountain range of the Apocali. Little did I know that after that would be easy sailing. The sea around this area is very deceiving; there is something that distorts people, and everything that ever enters the water, into thinking that the depths are endless. Similar phenomenon happens in several areas of this planet, and do you know why that is?” Carbine paused, smiling as Mikoto and Beatrix continued their ascent up the staircase. “It is to stop people from ever finding this chamber. Those areas are areas that allow the sanctum to bubble up to the bottom of the subterranean mountains. If one enters the sanctum, then through it they shall find the centre of the planet, and so the greatest secret ever to be held.”

    “But Sage told us that he entered the dark matter fields from this area…” Mikoto asked. She and Beatrix now stood upon the raised section, opposite Carbine and the hooded stranger.

    “The old man was fooled by the same trickery the sea uses to inform us of its ‘depth.’ However the trickery will not matter anymore, as by now the pressure changes caused by the hurricane appearing so quickly, and then disappearing, whilst leaving the hole it did in the ocean floor, will cause all of the mountain ranges, all of the dark matter fields, everything underneath the surface of this world, submerged. The pressures of the water will cause for changes in the crust, causing cities to shatter. This world will be torn apart, and that much has already begun. Can you not hear it? The moaning of the sanctum, already it fills.”

    Carbine looked upward, toward the distant wall of the chamber. The liquid that surrounded the area seemed to increase in activity, and swelled a lot more frequently than it had before. The moaning that filled the chamber increased in volume, and a slight rumble, that seemed almost one thousand miles away, shook the air surrounding them. The warmth had begun to fade, and the slight breeze had become all but a rustle of the atmosphere playfully winding its way around the feet of everyone in the chamber.

    “What is the sanctum?” Beatrix asked, looking at Carbine once more.

    “It is that which sustains this chamber and stops this planet from collapsing upon itself.” Carbine replied, pausing before he continued. “It is where the dead come to spend the rest of eternity. When a person, animal, or even a plant, dies, the life force of that thing is compressed into nothing but energy, and is sent into the sanctum. What you and your ship have passed through is nothing more than liquid energy, in its purest form, allowed to exist thanks to the death of those above.”

    “How is that… even possible?” Mikoto asked. “The planet is nothing but rock, and metal. Not a deity.”

    “This planet is the most useless thing in this part of the universe, it cannot exist without the death of people, it makes me wonder why those that came before us, that caused such a catastrophe to happen as to bring a planet to the edge of its life, allowed it to continue. Their efforts were valiant, that much I am sure of, however… it all seems like a waste of time. However that much matters not, for the planet of Charity will come to a conclusion. You are lucky enough to have front row seats to watch the end of the world, and watch the apotheosis of an already mighty being, into a God like figure, the kind that controls the movement of the energy in the sanctum. You don’t think this planet has survived as long as it has without a regulator of all this, do you?”

    “A regulator?” Beatrix asked, raising her eyebrows slightly.

    “The regulator of a planet bears the same name of the planet. The mysteries of the universe are never ending indeed. Their only link with the planet beyond that it is their celestial duty to protect and ensure the survival of it, are people such as myself. Angels. Sadly… my father, Charity… he himself requested that my essence be placed into the body of the most powerful human being upon this wretched world, and reopen the sanctum, so as to bring this black hole back into being, and end this. In return, I become a regulator myself, and am allowed to construct an almighty planet .It will be a perfect world, with no conniving religion to allow self destruction, no beings such as the Apocali causing fractures within the dark matter fields, no ancient civilisations destroying the lives of those thousands of years in the future. If you are to ask why I am doing this, I am doing this to give a life to the people I will be enabled to cultivate, I am doing this for my father, and most of all, I am doing this to end the suffering of this world.”

    “What about all the death upon the surface, the warmongering… what about all the things you did to me? What about the power I suddenly became infused with after meeting you?” Mikoto asked, becoming slightly shaken at all that Carbine had said. “None of that makes any sense…”

    “Because we are two of a kind, Mikoto. Nobody ever knew it, and outside of the five of us here, nobody will know it. You too are an angel, just as I am. Of course when you went completely missing from where you were supposed to be, and then found by Beatrix, nothing could be done about it. My father could not kill his daughter, and so he sent me. He asked me to bring about the end, as I have just informed you, and also to find you, and hopefully restore your memory as to who you are.”

    “You’re lying… I’m not…” Mikoto answered, her voice seemed to drain away as she spoke.

    “You’re not anymore. After the weapon you were given revealed that I could not bring you back into being as an angel under my control, the human within you, and the devotion to the people you claim to be your family took over. You are a human being, an incredibly gifted human being. One with the power of the Gods placed within your veins, however that is something which you can never truly be. However… if you are willing to help me, and aid our father in his final request. Then we may transcend together, and become the first dual-regulators of a perfect world.”

    Mikoto drew her sword as Carbine spoke, a flash of hatred lines her eyes. As Carbine realised what she was going to do, he smirked, and drew out a tremendous black sword from a black void that appeared from his hand and into thin air. It was unlike anything Beatrix or Mikoto had ever seen before. The sword glowed with a slight red, and seemed to emit incredible energy. Whilst Beatrix suddenly became overcome with fear, Mikoto simply broadened her smile, and lowered herself into a fighting stance.

    “You should know well enough by now Carbine, the only people I give a shit about are the people that actually took the time to make my life worth living, and even if I can’t stop the end of the world, at least I can take away your ideal of ever running your own.” Mikoto’s voice was wild, and as she spoke her eyes focused directly on Carbine, who stood tall and smiled back at her, raising his eyebrows ever so slightly.

    “A gift from Charity himself, the honour of fighting my own sister with a sword of the Regulator council.” Carbine seemed to explode with energy, but still he stood motionless, his suit still as perfect as ever. “So long as you understand that there is no chance of you ever saving this world, I trust you will allow Hydrus to complete the procedures.”

    Beatrix and Mikoto wavered slightly at the mention of Hydrus’ name, and glanced at the hooded figure. A sigh could be heard coming from underneath the darkness that shielded the face from the world, and the man brought up his hands, drawing the hood down and revealing his face.

    “I trust the war on the surface is in full effect then, if you felt it acceptable to reveal the name of a dead man.” Hydrus spoke; his voice cut the air much like Carbine’s. His face was colourless, and his cheekbones seemed to almost cut through his skin. He was but a former shell of the leader he had once been. “And before you two lovely young ladies ask, I died. Well and truly, but there is a way of retrieving the dead from the sanctum. It was pure dumb luck that Carbine found my essence floating around as he came down here.”

    “The city of Solar has been completely annihilated, save for the military.” Answered Creed, “The battle should soon begin however, and the amount of essence entering the sanctum at one time by then should be more than enough to overload it and collapse all protection surrounding the hole, then it is only a matter of minutes before everything ends. High Charity is experiencing extreme natural disasters at the moment also. Everything is as it should be. There is nothing more that we need to do here.”

    “Wonderful, in which case I believe I will have some fun. Tell me, Ms. Lekgolo, have you ever fought with a dead man?” Hydrus smiled, looking at Beatrix. She drew her sword and gritted her teeth, looking over at Mikoto. She was almost feral in the way she was poised, and Beatrix could feel the amount of energy leaving her body from several metres away. Beatrix glanced back at Hydrus, and then again at Mikoto, however she had disappeared, as had Carbine. Before her confusion wavered, Hydrus came crashing down upon her with a flurry of punches, and her sword was thrown across the platform as she fell to the floor.

    Although it had looked like it to Beatrix, Carbine and Mikoto had not actually disappeared. Mikoto launched herself at a lightning speed, bearing down on Carbine, and as their swords locked together the force that they had came down upon one another sent the two siblings flying across the chamber for hundreds of metres. As Mikoto fell downwards, she felt as though she was actually going up, and as she looked around herself she realised that she was. She landed on the underside of one of the many platforms suspended in the air. The gravity of the chamber appeared to be extremely unstable. Mikoto simply shrugged this off and searched for Carbine, quickly spotting him stood atop the Angel Tears, hundreds of metres away. She crouched into the feral-like stature once more, before pouncing across several platforms, each time changing the way she landed due to the gravity of the chamber, and eventually found herself atop the Angel tears, facing Carbine once more.

    ***

    The skyline of High Charity began to collapse into the ground, and as buildings fell, the small outlines of airships could be seen flying upwards into the air. The area where the hurricane had once been was now a tremendous crater, filling with water from the surrounding ocean quickly. As Carbine had predicted, the pressures forming underneath the surface were causing faults in the crust of the planet to crack, and huge earthquakes tore across the lands. The entire city of High Charity seemed to be split in two, and was slowly collapsing in on itself as the ground beneath crumbled away into nothingness. As well as the ships ascending into the skies, the figure of a large dragon wheeled around.

    “What the hell is going on here?” Andromeda said to herself, as she sat atop the Apocali she had been able to call upon. “Get me back to Solar; High Charity isn’t somewhere I’d like to be anymore.”

    ***

    Solar had yet to be affected by the destruction of the planet; aside from the fact the entirety of the city had been completely levelled. However the entirety of the Solar military erupted from the ground, just as Reich had predicted, and launched an all out assault on the fleet that had arrived from High Charity. Human soldiers and elemental soldiers alike tore across the plains, and locked themselves in combat, with Gala and Edge at the frontlines. As the battle progressed, Gala and Edge both became aware that there were no water elementals amongst the Solar forces, as none of the inhuman soldiers they had shot at were regenerating.

    Several hours of fighting went by, and the rumbling of the earth began to have its effect on the battlefield, wounded soldiers were no longer being attended to, and the entire fight had went from a true war to a violent free for all. Gala and Edge stood back to back and fired shots at any enemy soldier that dared to come within their range. The majority of solders all carried standard regulation firearms such as rifles and pistols, however what were clearly higher ranking members of both military factions were carrying melee weapons alongside these. The ground beneath the feet of the combatants had become a quagmire of mud, blood and bodies of the dead. It was as if all sense of rationality had been lost. Above the heads of Gal and edge was still the High Charity capital ship; however it was almost alone in the fact it was still airborne. Almost all of the other High Charity battle ships had been brought crashing to the ground.

    “This is madness!” Edge shouted, firing yet another shot at several of the Solar military members.

    “This is Solar! “ Gala cried back, barely being able to hear even himself over the sounds of the battle raging around him. As he looked outwards, he thought he saw a glint of red cut across the moonlight, however he assumed it was blood and resumed concentrating upon the soldiers that needed his help and the soldiers that needed him dead. A moment later however Gala realised he was mistaken on thinking that the read glint was blood, as Creed pounced from seemingly nowhere and cut across his chest with his blood drenched scimitar. Gala fell to his knees and the pain seared across his chest, and a moment later he felt the scorch of several bullets riddling his body.

    End of Chapter 014.

  16. #41
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    Hmm, more revelations: this time regarding Sage, Mikoto, how the planet sustains itself, and Carbine’s motives. War, destruction, cool imagery (most notably the hurricane as viewed from above, and the view of the other planets); things that I do enjoy reading about. Oh, and Reich dropping another F-bomb; I always enjoy that, too.

    Plus, there was Hydrus coming back, which I did not expect, and Gala getting a nasty surprise from Creed, which I did not expect either. At the same time… somehow, I keep getting this “slash and gunfire aside, haven’t seen the last of Gala” feeling. o.o Eh, but maybe I’m just in a “can’t trust what I see mode” lately. XD At any rate, guess we’ll see.

    Other highlights:

    “Let’s just say you can’t underestimate the limits of aggression of an animal created in the image of God himself Mary.” Sage replied. “Nor can you underestimate the feeling of attraction between the animal in question to the marvel of what he has made.”
    Curiously cool quote. o.o

    “Yeah, this much is true. Still, we’re going to… oh whatever I don’t need reason to get drunk. However I do need reason to go into a minefield of Black Holes.”
    Heh. XD

    Storm off to stop an armada?
    Reminds me of a Coheed lyric. ^^



    All in all, another boss chapter. Can’t believe this story is now swiftly approachng its end… seems like only yesterday that I started reading it. Well, good luck with the final pieces of this story. ^^
    DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
    (Or do. I don't actually mind.)
    The Origin of Storms | Communication

  17. #42
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    Pretty awesome chapter, I wish I'd gotten to it sooner. I hope you finish your new one soon so that this one stays fresh in my memory. Anyway, love the fighting and the massive explosions and disasters... it all seems so... climactic. Of course, the entire planet being destroyed...that sounds a little familiar

    And I too think Gala isn't finished yet.
    Gone.

    http://psiumbreon.livejournal.com/82372.html

  18. #43
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    Over a year in the writing, and God only knows how many forms this chapter has taken. I must have re-written it at least thirty times, and honestly I'm still not 100% satisfied with the result, however it does encompass any unanswered questions, and resolves many issues, whilst leaving others open ended. I'm honestly not sure where I'm going to go from here, but I am glad to say that I have finally finished the first ever fic I got serious about writing.

    I really hope you enjoy this chapter, and I apologise profusely for the fact it took me over a year to finish up!

    Enjoy!
    -Josh



    Chapter 015: Set the world on fire.


    “We’re going to be killed if we don’t get out of here Captain Reich, look around you.”

    “Kobrakai… I know what the hell I’m doing, now shut the… shut the fuck up.” The insectoid figure of Reich had become the flustered counterpart of what it once was due to the events of the past several hours. The Solar military force was a lot larger than any of the High Charity generals had predicted, and both sides had become locked in a stalemate. “Pilot, get us as close to the ground as possible and then open up the hatches, and set off a blast wave of fifty meters every thirty seconds at those hatches.”

    “What on earth?” Kobrakai responded, “You do realise that a blast wave will kill all friendly units as well as enemy units?”

    “It’s a risk we have to take if we want to get our boys back here alive and well.” Reich answered, “Get every soldier on this ship that isn’t doing something more important to repel all enemy forces and help get our boys on board.” Reich picked up a large gun from beside where he stood and loaded it. “Kobrakai is in charge of the bridge until I get back, that doesn’t mean you let her do anything stupid though.”

    “Oh thanks.”

    “No problem.” Reich gave the best smile his bug-like face could muster, and left the bridge. As he ran through the halls of the ship he lost his footing due to a tremendous amount of turbulence that had appeared from nowhere. He picked himself up from the floor and went to continue, before he heard the voice of Madame Kobrakai crackle through the ships speaker systems. Her voice was broken and the message was barely audible, he managed to make out something about the bridge before the communication went completely dead, and turned back, heading once more for the control centre.

    The turbulence had gotten more intense as Reich burst back onto the bridge. He looked around and saw that absolutely nothing had changed since he had left. He threw a look of distaste at Madame Kobrakai who quickly jumped to defend herself.

    “We can’t get close enough for our men to be able to board, and look outside Reich, look what’s happening…” Kobrakai pointed to the front of the bridge, and walked over with Reich quickly following. The source of the sudden extreme turbulence was quickly revealed as Reich looked upon the outside world. The ground had begun to crack and fall away into nothingness. Soldiers of the High Charity and Solar military were being dragged downwards into the abyss. Reich fell back as a large black shape flew directly in front of the bridge window. As he stood up he realised what the shape was. Andromeda hovered in front of the ship atop the dragon Apocali. She smiled at Reich and pointed upwards, before she flew downwards and out of sight.

    “I think that was her telling us we need to fly upwards, captain.” One of the pilots said, looking over at Reich. “Give the order and we can go.”

    “No.” Reich replied. “We’re sticking with my plan of saving who we can. Move it.”

    “Reich I don’t know if you’ve realised, but we have the dragon-woman flying around out there alongside the fact it is nigh on impossible to fulfil your request.” Kobrakai placed her hand on the captain’s shoulder. “There’s nothing we can do for the men we have down there. Save everyone on the ship.”

    “Those men down there are there because I sent them down there Kobrakai.” Reich looked down at Kobrakai, and then smiled. “We can do both.”

    “What?” Kobrakai asked, a confused look betraying her usually straight face.

    “Okay listen up everyone,” Reich shouted, calling everyone present to look upon him. “We’re going to save the boys below us and then get off this rock. As you’ve probably noticed Charity isn’t exactly a safe place for us to be anymore. Get our engine tech’s to supply the engines with enough power to take us out of the atmosphere. Tell the weapons team to drop Omega Triton’s true form onto the field. I’ll take up the pilot seat of that number and save our boys. Madame Kobrakai is now the captain of this ship, listen to her, and get out of here safely.”

    “Are you nuts!?” Kobrakai yelled, “Omega Triton is the result of over twenty five years research and funding, and you just plan on dropping the weaponry and using it as a ship?”

    “I’ll take the lives of my men over stupid figures.” Reich smiled his repulsive insect smile once more, bent down onto his six legs, and sprinted away incredibly fast. As he ran he felt the burst of every engine on the ship come to life, and by the time he reached the Omega Triton and released the entirety of it from the Capital ship, they had already climbed extremely high.

    ***

    Edge did his best to keep his footing across the now crumbled ground. He had the body of Gala across his shoulder, and was faced with constant assaults from Creed. Looking upwards to see the High Charity ship blast away into the skies didn’t help his confidence, and he slipped before feeling Creed’s scimitar skim his right arm. Behind him the ground had crumbled away into nothingness, in front of him the soldiers of the two sides still continued their fighting. He stopped upon feeling the trickle of blood from the cut on his arm, and lay Gala down on the slowly crumbling rock. Creed had stopped too, and now faced him from across the rock face.

    “Finally decided to stop running then.” Creed smiled, looking at Edge. Edge didn’t say a word and simply placed a cigarette in his mouth before lighting it. He took his gun from its holster and loaded it with his last four bullets.

    “Oh please.” Creed laughed, “You really think you’re going to kill me with FOUR bullets?” Again, Edge remained silent. Unknown to both him and Creed, Andromeda circled above, looking down at the body of Gala. Edge cocked his gun and held it against his shoulder. Creed began laughing again, however it was immediately cut short by the sound of a gun shot and the burn of a bullet cutting across the side of his face. The look of amusement turned to anger as he drew out his Scimitar once more.

    “That hurt.”

    “I missed.” Edge replied.

    A moment later Creed rushed forward and his scimitar came crashing down on Edge. Edge jumped out of the way in the nick of time, as the sword came crashing down on where he once stood. Creed regained his posture and charged again, however he was cut short by a second cut across his cheek, again by another bullet.

    “I missed again.”

    “How do you manage to shoot and hit me so quickly…?” A confused look stuck across Creeds face as he massaged where the bullet had scorched his skin. Edge had grazed both sides of his face, leaving two symmetrical scorch marks.

    “Y’know Creed, you’re lucky he hasn’t killed you yet to be honest. Especially with how slow you are.” Creed and Edge both looked above, the voice belonged to Andromeda. She jumped down from the Apocali and landed gracefully between the two men.

    “What are you doing here Andromeda, this place is no place for you.” Creed looked at the youngest of the four Divinity leaders.

    “Creed Creed Creed. I’m kinda p
    issed.” Andromeda nodded her head quickly, “You don’t know what’s going on, do you?”

    “These dogs destroyed Solar, all that we wanted was wiped out by them.”

    “Err, wrong! Solar was destroyed by High Charity, yeah, but the rest of Zodiac, and the rest of the planet, certainly isn’t being destroyed by them! You’re as blind as you are stupid. And what the hell are you doing killing Gala? What was that about?”

    Edge stood looking upon both Andromeda and Creed with a very confused look across his face. Up until now he had believed Andromeda to be with Creed, not arguing with him for killing one of her own enemies. What confused Edge more was the news of the planet being destroyed. Before now he had figured the ground collapsing was due to the force of the High Charity attack on Solar.

    “An enemy of Solar is that which needs to be disposed of, every death here today was caused by enemies of Solar.” Creed replaced his Scimitar. “Now answer my question, why are you here?”

    “Caroll’s dead, you know.” Andromeda paused; the look of horror across Creed’s face was something she had not seen up until now. “High Charity isn’t there anymore either. What you’re stood upon is the only stable piece of ground left on this doomed planet. Oh yeah.”

    “What…?” Creed was at a loss for words.

    “Yeah Creed, come on. Ground doesn’t just disappear like this; storms are never this intense here. The planet is dead man, and it’s all thanks to one guy. Your buddy - Carbine. Daddy’s with him too.”

    “Hydrus? He’s still alive?” Creed’s usual confidence was all but a memory, what stood before Edge and Andromeda was a broken shell of what Creed once was.

    “Nope, he’s dead as he’s ever been. Of course he didn’t want his only child to be swept away into nothingness, so he told me everything that’s about to happen. We’re all screwed Creed, and it’s all because of this stupid religion we had. Angels, hah, yeah nice one. How many centuries have we gone with just using fakes. This is what happens when a real angel appears. Everything becomes a waster and nothing is left. Good game to us, good game to Charity.” Andromeda sighed and jumped back up to the Apocali, landing pleasantly on its back. “And you Creed, have nothing left. Edge and Gala however, do.”

    To Edge’s disbelief, Andromeda flew directly towards him and Gala, and motioned for him to carry Gala and climb aboard the magnificent beast. As they flew upwards and away from where Creed stood, an empty figure of the man he once was, Edge saw in the distance a white ship descend from the skies above. He looked upwards to see the High Charity capital ship, and realised that was where Andromeda was headed. The Apocali flew at tremendous speed, and it wasn’t very long before everything below was but a blur, and the clouds swirled around them. The air began to get thinner as they rose. They eventually caught up to the Capital ship, however it was rising at an incredibly fast speed.

    “Hmm, if we don’t get on board that thing soon we’re going to run out of atmosphere.” Andromeda pushed onwards, closing in on the ship as fast as the Apocali could fly, the beast roared under the pressure placed upon it. The end of the sky drew nearer as they flew, and it seemed as though they weren’t going to make it. However as the air became within an inch of possibility to breathe, the capital ship stopped its ascent, by luck or otherwise. The Apocali pushed forwards, its ability to fly greatly reduced by the thin air. Andromeda quickly realised that the Apocali was not only being held back by the atmosphere, but also by how far it was from the centre of the planet. The magic of the Apocali binded the beasts to the planet of Charity, and the further from the planet you were, the weaker that magic was.

    The dragon began to fade in and out of existence as they drew closer to the ship, however all was not lost as the incredible ship began to move towards the Apocali, closing the gap. With one final push the Apocali faded out of existence and Andromeda, Edge and Gala’s dead body fell into a freefall. Edge held Gala’s body as tightly as he could as they fell. The Capital ship still continued its move towards them, however at the rate at which they fell it wouldn’t be quick enough to enable them to land upon the topside. Edge felt Andromeda grab his arm, and he looked up to see her smiling at him. As all hope seemed to wane, the Charity ship seemed to pick up a burst of speed, and the three bodies landed upon the topside with only several meters to spare. The Capital ship was tremendous. From the ground it didn’t look that big, but stood on top of it, it was clear to see that the entirety of the thing spanned a good half mile.

    “Well, that was fun!” Andromeda said, smiling once more at Edge. He simply remained silent and checked to see if Gala’s body was safe from the fall. Both he and Andromeda began looking around themselves for a way into the ship; an answer quickly arrived. A small hatch opened up in the ship and the face of Madame Kobrakai greeted them. She looked at Andromeda with disdain, however smiled when she realised who Edge was.

    “You’re lucky, you know” Kobrakai said, as she helped bring Gala’s body down into the safety of the ship. “If it wasn’t for one of our keen eyed pilots, we’d never have seen you. What happened to Gala?”

    “Bullet and sword wounds, pretty severe.” Edge replied, looking at the body of Gala.

    “Is he… dead?” Kobrakai asked,

    Edge began to answer but was cut off by Andromeda, who to his amazement replied with “No.”

    “He’s not?” Edge asked, looking at Andromeda with a slight suspicion.

    “No. He’ll live if we get him to the infirmary now, trust me.”

    “That’s pretty new.” Kobrakai replied, twisting her face at the previous member of Divinity. “Still, I suppose you saved Edge’s life, so we shall see. Come, the quicker my pilots can leave the atmosphere, the safer we shall be.”

    ***

    Beatrix scrambled across the floor of the platform, making an attempt to find the hilt of her sword within the palm of her hand. Hydrus was making the situation all the more unbearable with his relentless assault upon her. His face was one of calm, his expression never changed, and the power he was throwing from each connecting punch was terrifying. Beatrix picked herself up and was knocked down once again. As she fell she made a final dive for her sword, brushing against it with her hand, only to push it further from her position. Hydrus stopped his attacks for a moment and walked over to the silver-lined blade, before kicking it into the abyss that was bellowing outwards into a large spiralling vortex. He watched the sword sail downwards and out of sight, before returning his attention to Beatrix. However much to his surprise she had taken the break from his attacks to her own advantage, and had managed to pick herself up, clutching what appeared to be another, slightly smaller, blade.

    “You made me lose my sword.” Beatrix said, looking at Hydrus square in the eye.

    “Just quickening the inevitable on a very small scale then, really. Don’t you think so?” Hydrus smiled and motioned towards the black abyss in the centre of the gigantic cavern. In the time they had been present, the barriers around the void had begun to disrupt, and the control panel was crumbling to pieces. Hydrus clicked his fingers as a large portion of the barrier surrounding the black hole completely shattered. Along with the sudden roars erupting from what seemed like every inch of the cavern, a strong wind picked up, almost knocking Beatrix off her feet.

    “Then the walls came crashing down.” Whispered Hydrus, looking now towards the outskirts of the cavern. The field of water had begun to swell uncontrollably, and a few seconds after his utterance, they broke entirely, flooding the cavern with the dead waters. The unstable gravity of the chamber made the water behave extremely strangely. It poured into the chamber, however swelled into large vortexes and spiralled around the room. The moaning and the roars had become much more than mere echoes of the earth, and were now filling the cavern with their sounds of agony.

    “One last kiss for you then, my dear.” Hydrus said quietly, before launching a second assault upon Beatrix. Beatrix prepared herself for the coming onslaught, however no such happening came. Instead, Mikoto and Carbine had jumped to the platform Beatrix and Hydrus were atop, and the force of their fighting had knocked him sailing downwards. His body was caught up in one of the large vortexes that now occupied much of the space not already taken by the swelling void. Beatrix managed a split second glimpse of Carbine and Mikoto before they were gone once more. She looked around frantically for signs of Sage, and found him only by the ever familiar roar of the Angel Tears’ engines starting up.

    She made a dash for the ship, hoping that the platforms gravity would hold her for the way she had to run. The cascading water had made the entire area extremely wet, and as a result, slipping became a regular occurrence as Beatrix sprinted. Another large portion of the barrier surrounding the black hole shattered and the winds within the cavern became a lot more severe. Beatrix stopped at the ramp of the Angel Tears and looked around for Mikoto. The teenager had heard the Angel Tears herself; however it was apparent she had no interest in boarding the ship. As Beatrix took note of this revelation her sword, Eve, whipped around in a nearby water vortex and was thrown in front of her, either by luck or unnatural coincidence. She picked up the blade and sprinted faster still towards the ship.

    Mikoto still maintained a very feral fighting poise as she assaulted Carbine with all that she had. Carbine did nothing but give her the same in return, and both were showing no sign of slowing. Their fight had taken place across the entirety of the chamber, and the speed at which they moved meant several things they had attempted to perch upon merely crumbled under the addition to the already unstable conditions. As Mikoto had taken a second to look over towards the Angel Tears, Carbine had taken the same second to land a hurtful blow across her left arm. Blood began to seep out of the large wound and was becoming more and more violently bloody as their fight progressed further. However Mikoto had not let Carbine get away with such a large advantage over her, as she took his second of glory following the strike to slash him several times across the face, leaving his once pristine features nothing short of a bloody mess – nothing helpful for his vision.

    A final roar from the centre of the cavern signified that all the barriers surrounding the black hole had now been wiped from existence, and that the void was now free to do as nature intended to the cavern, and indeed the entire planet of Charity. Carbine stopped his assault on Mikoto to witness the moment of the black hole coming to life. Mikoto too, stopped all that she was doing to bear witness to the sight before her. The black void slowly began to spin, increasing in speed as minutes went by. Behind where she was stood, Mikoto could hear the familiar roar of the Angel Tears’ engines ascending to take off volume, and as she turned away from the black hole, she witnessed the ship escape into the dead waters and beyond.

    Aboard the Angel Tears, Sage was amazed that Beatrix had left Mikoto behind in such conditions. Beatrix however was more concerned on evading the onslaught of debris and cascading water that she had been faced with. Her eyes swelled with tears as the ship continued up towards what was left of the planet’s surface. As the minutes went by the rate at which debris rained upon the ship increased, Beatrix determined that the Black Hole was almost reaching its full capacity. As the thought came to her, she recalled a conversation between herself and Sage, in which he explained what the Black Hole was capable of doing, and how it worked. With the conversation in her mind, Beatrix pressed even harder on the ships acceleration, not wanting her fate to be sealed in a gravitational crush.

    Mikoto turned from the Black Hole to face Carbine once more.

    “We’re going to die like this, you know.”

    “No we’re not Mikoto,” Carbine replied, “We’re imbued with the power that helped create this void, we’re going to somewhere far, far more to your concern than death.”

    “What do you mean by that, exactly?” Mikoto asked, feeling the gravity of the chamber pick itself up slightly as the black hole continued its rebirth.

    “You really think that I would be able to become a regulator if I died? Hardly, no, I’m going to see my… our, father. There I’ll settle the ultimate score and begin this all again. Yes, the perfect world will be mine to create, and I’ll be revered across my fellow regulators as being the one, true God. You really should reconsider joining with me, think of all that we could have, Mikoto!”

    “All I ever wanted was taken away by your far fetched dreams, and though I’m sure I don’t know whom our father might be, apparently he missed out on one of the key aspects of raising his only son.”

    “And what might that be, little sister?” Carbine turned to look at Mikoto, a wicked smile spread across his bleeding face.

    “Beatings for misbehaving.” Mikoto replied, before erupting upon Carbine once more in a flurry of powerful attacks. Carbine was caught off guard by the fresh assault and was sent flying downwards into the spiralling abyss. Mikoto flicked the fresh blood from her blade, and jumped downwards, towards Carbine. The two engaged in another melee in their freefall towards the ever growing void. Mikoto’s left arm became subject to several wounds from Carbine’s only wretched blade, and Mikoto soon came to realise that she was barely able to even use it anymore. However the pain coursing through her didn’t stop her relentless assault on the angel, and soon Carbine was in almost as bad a state as she was.

    As the two continued to fall, the black hole suddenly sprung to life, and began its powerful notion of destroying and consuming everything. The chamber slowly began to collapse in on itself, as Mikoto and Carbine too were caught up in the powerful gravitational pull, and were brought forwards into darkness. Mikoto watched Carbine first, fall into the horizon of the abyss, and cried out in horror as the gravity of the hole tore his body apart into mere atoms. She closed her eyes and awaited her fate. Her last sight before falling into a perpetual darkness was that of the planet giving in to the black hole, and collapsing down upon it.

    Miles above the centre of the planet, Beatrix and Sage had cleared what was left of the atmosphere in the Angel Tears, and had begun hurtling away from Charity as fast as the ship would allow. As soon as they had cleared the atmospheric holdings of the planet, the Angel tears seemed to spring a new life, and erupted into an astronomical speed. The speedometers across the ships control panels read that they were travelling close to eight hundred thousand kilometres an hour. Prior to leaving the atmosphere the ship barely managed to reach three thousand, and the difference was immense. Ahead of where they flew, Beatrix began to make out the outline of a tremendous battalion of ships, and as the Angel tears neared the largest of the ships, it became clear that it was what remained of the High Charity fleet. Beatrix brought the Angel Tears alongside the capital ship and slowed her speed down to match that of the colossal machine. A small screen flickered across the HUD of the Angel Tears, and the familiar face of Reich, supreme general of the High Charity military, greeted Beatrix and Sage.

    “I am glad to see that the two of you are safe, Beatrix!” Reich proclaimed, his face contracting into his repulsive excuse of a grin. “Where however, is the young Mikoto?”

    “I’ll explain everything soon general,” came Beatrix’ reply, “may we board the ship?”

    “If you’d be so kind as to look to your left, the dock has already been opened and we graciously await your arrival, your friends Gala and Edge are on board too!” Beatrix smiled at the insect-like alien, and the screen went blank. Taking the controls as steady as she could, Beatrix edged the Angel Tears into the large dock of the Capital ship, and after going through a highly complex air lock, brought down the red battleship to a comfortable rest amidst hundreds of other ships. She and Sage left their craft and were greeted with several commanders of the High Charity military. The dock was as impressive as the ones within the grand palace of High Charity had been, and was designed in much the same fashion. It seemed as though a lot more extra-terrestrial life forms were controlling this dock however, Beatrix assumed this to be due to the fact that space travel was their area of expertise, for a number of obvious reasons.

    “Welcome aboard Beatrix, I’m here to escort both you and Alexander to the bridge immediately. There you will be informed of all that took place and will most likely be asked to make your own account of what you saw beneath the planet.” The commander was a tall man, as most seemed to be, and was likely in his mid-forties. His eyes looked as though they had seen many a terror within the recent battle, and his face was scratched in a number of places. His uniform was a navy blue, and his chest was adorned with several medals. The men behind him wore the standard navy blue uniform of the High Charity military.

    “How do you know that I and Sage were beneath the planet?” Beatrix inquired as the group began their journey towards the bridge.

    “Beatrix my dear,” Sage replied, “when I informed you of my request I must have neglected to also say that such matters had been discussed with my brother and Reich, they knew full well of why you and Mikoto would not be joining the battle, which brings me onto my next question; why on earth did you leave Mikoto to die there?” Beatrix winced at the question, and caught several glances from the soldiers and commander that were her escort.

    “She wouldn’t have come with us, anyway. You saw her determination to finish Carbine off. All of the fighting she had done would’ve been for nought if she had just run away. You know what she’s like, and honestly, I could almost tell that her decision would’ve been to stay. Don’t ask me how, I just knew it.” Beatrix sighed and looked down towards the metallic flooring of the corridor, wondering what indeed had become of her friend. Sage simply gave a solemn nod and walked along; admiring the handiwork of whichever group of engineers had created this mechanical marvel.

    After what seemed like hours of walking in a solitary silence, Beatrix, Sage and their escort eventually arrived the bridge of the capital ship. The room was remarkable. A large window looked out towards the front of the ship, and all around the walls were technicians and the like going about their business. Beatrix quickly identified Reich, Edge, Madame Kobrakai and Andromeda, doing a double take on Andromeda, before wondering why on earth she was there.

    “Welcome to the bridge, Beatrix, Alexander!” Reich smiled as he spoke, looking at the two companions before giving a salute to the Commander that had acted as their escort. The commander left the bridge as Reich motioned for Beatrix and Sage to come and sit down. There was a small flight of stairs down into a lowered section, with several seats Beatrix quickly realised belonged to the captain and such. Each person present took a seat and a moment passed before Reich began to speak once more.

    “You no doubt have many questions; however that trait is shared by all of us no doubt. So I feel as though we’ll take our turn first. Your friend Gala is doing well. He took a heavy hit during the conflict and was left, well, fucked up. However as I said he is recovering at an alarming rate, and as soon as he is well, he’s been requested to come and join us here on the bridge. Secondly, it appears Reach aren’t the only ones fresh out of Solar to renounce faith in the workings of Divinity. Shortly after the reformation, Andromeda here had done so, however due to being a bit of a pawn, and a bit stupid in my personal opinion, this couldn’t actually come to light until each of the other leaders had been dealt with. How’s that for looking after your own wellbeing!” Reich shot a glance at Andromeda, who simply shifted uneasily in her seat. “Edge here can take over now, as I’m sure you’re wondering where your other friends, Pepper and Mary are, and what became of a certain arrogant angel wannabe, blergh!”

    Edge smiled at the general, and turned to face Beatrix. “Gala suffered some pretty bad wounding from creed, however after Andromeda here came down and informed him that Caroll and the small girl Prude had been killed, his spirit seemed to wane. All I can say is that he’s most likely dead. As for the rest of the High Charity military, the majority of the soldiers left alive were rescued by Reich using their weapon systems, not really sure how but apparently their primary weapon, Omega Triton, also doubled up as a large warship. Thanks to him the majority of High Charity’s civilians, and the majority of the soldiers, are all onboard and safe, along with Pepper and Mary. Now, where’s Mikoto?”

    “She’s gone.” Beatrix answered. Her voice was barely a whisper. She composed herself after some time and began speaking more clearly. “She made the notion of not escaping with me and Sage very clear to me during her battle with Carbine. Though no words were spoken between us, that’s the message I received from her. As of her now, all I can assume is that her fate is that of the planets. When we arrived at the centre of the world, through means somewhat involuntary I assure you, we ended up coming face to face with Carbine, and whom we thought was departed Hydrus. Mikoto and Carbine took their fight up between themselves, and I can only assume that Hydrus died… again…”

    “I knew he was still alive, yet how?” Andromeda asked. There was a puzzled look across her face. “I thought that my father was completely wiped out when he was killed by Carbine. However based on what you just said, he was working with Carbine!”

    “Indeed.” Sage responded, “Carbine had apparently found the soul of Hydrus within the dead waters. Whether or not that this was their ultimate intention all along I am unsure. As of now however, we need to decide what we’re going to do. We’ve got a large population with us and nowhere to call home.” Upon his last sentence the group fell into a slow silence, their problems were far from over, it seemed.

    ***

    Mikoto awoke in an area of white nothingness. In front of where she now stood was a small wooden table with no real decoration or adornment, with what appeared to be a glass of water rested upon it. She lifted her hands in front of her eyes, and examined them and then the rest of her body carefully. She was wearing the white shirt and jeans she had left High Charity in, so long ago, however all signs of combat had been erased from their features. Mikoto shrugged lightly and felt her sword sheathed across her back. She stepped towards the table, her footsteps echoed off into the bleak nothingness that surrounded her. There was no identifiable ‘floor’ to wherever she was, the white abyss stretched on for eternity in every single direction. Upon reaching the table, she picked up the glass of water and took a drink. It tasted as pure as she imagined water was able to be, and was ice cold, to the point of perfection. Mikoto was amazed at how good the water was to drink, when all of her life she had shunned the thought of drinking anything so bland.

    “That taste is what my world once was, Mikoto.” The unknown voice seemed to come from the inner depths of Mikoto’s mind. Mikoto looked around herself, finding only nothingness everywhere she looked. The voice continued, “Once my world was one of perfection, full of people with truthful ideals. I named my utopia Charity, a word I once heard to mean generosity. For thousands upon thousands of years, my utopia thrived, and there was no strife within this world. Sadly, as I am sure you are aware; such things are not meant to last.”

    Mikoto once more glanced around, trying to identify the source of this voice. It penetrated her every nerve, and resonated with a celestial beauty. The voice carried no real gender, and as its sound carried through her, Mikoto almost thought she detected a hint of sadness. She leaned herself against the plain wooden table, looking upwards and closing her eyes slightly, only for her vision to be once more met with nothingness.

    “Around two thousand years prior to your birth, one of my fellow regulators caught sight of my perfect world. Not all of us are a good, peaceful character. This particular regulator went by the name of Carbine, and upon discovering my world; he immediately set his sights upon it. Carbine was, and still is the bane of our order. His world is host to an indescribable amount of evil, and it is his only desire to expand such evil across the cosmos, so that one day he might cast down each of the worlds and their regulators, and ignite the universe into that which he desires… pure and utter Chaos. Carbine thrives within its limitless bounds.”

    As Mikoto listened to the heavenly voice of the Regulator, the white nothingness surrounding her changed into a vision of the menace being described. A large pillar of flame erupted before Mikoto’s eyes, and though it was only an illusion, brought forth to demonstrate whom Carbine truly was, Mikoto could still feel the intensity of the hellfire before her. The pillar of flame changed into a terrifying being, composed of nothing but white hot hellfire. The strongest feature that Mikoto caught hold of was the eyes of the colossal being. The eyes looked directly at Mikoto, making her feel as though the fabric of her very soul had been pierced. Looking back into the eyes made Mikoto feel as though she had been lost to their deep majesty. Below the two pristine black diamonds, a gaping maw opened up, and a tremendous roar filled the entire area before the illusion dissipated.

    “It was Carbine that brought the creatures you know as ancients to my lustrous world. He brought the destructive energies provided by dark matter. Carbine and his demons slowly forged their own society beneath the surface of my beautiful planet, carving out their own cities, and cultivating their foul dark matter across their subterranean domain. Eventually using its foul powers to call forth greater demons, ones that those foolish Planetists call Apocali. Eventually however, his plan to destroy my world from within met its end with the introduction of the first angel I sent to Charity. A being of immense ability, sent to do my work in the physical world. The black hole Carbine and his demonic minions had created subsided into a dormant state, and the demons were all but eradicated from existence. Carbine fled on that day, and peace returned to my world. However it was not meant to last, due to that blasted Hydrus…”

    Once more the white abyss dissipated into another illusion, this time of the young Hydrus. The small, clearly teenage Hydrus, had climbed to the top of a large mountain range Mikoto later identified as the Pendulum range located to the east of Solar. Upon the summit of the peaks Hydrus had began crafting what appeared to be an altar. He had been unknowingly followed by a young woman who wore a striking resemblance to the late princess of the Planetists, Andromeda. Mikoto soon learned that this woman was indeed the princess’ mother, which identified her as Hydrus’ only lover. The woman watched in awe as Hydrus began lifting tremendous pieces of rock, and cultivating them with what appeared to be the power of his mind. On the largest piece that Hydrus had cultivated, Mikoto identified the Planetist logo, slowly before the illusion disappeared and her eyes met with white emptiness once more.

    “Around the time of the demons departure, the beings I had born to my world began to undergo changes, although only within families of sincere ability. They began to develop powers that would later unite them under the flag of ‘elementalists.’ Hydrus was one such being, and using his powers, he slowly became a tremendously powerful sorcerer, gaining prestige amongst his fellow elementalists. He is also the one flaw in what otherwise was a perfect plan to eradicate Carbine from my world. Hydrus had seen the angel descend upon the world, and since seeing it had become almost zealous in his belief in a divine being. Of course there was such a being; however religion and all the rest of it was something I had never imbued within my planet, due to seeing other Regulators being demolished by it. Sadly, Hydrus ended a world with no belief in a higher power, and cultivated the religion of Planetism with his powers and prestige.”

    The regulator of Charity paused for a moment, allowing the information to sink into Mikoto. The young girl simply nodded in recognition of the celestial voice, and said nothing.

    “After one millennia of Planetism and not another angel sent by me, Hydrus realised that he was no longer holding the faith he had spent a thousand years growing accustomed to, and so he became selfish and unruly in his endeavours. His zealous nature relit, and before long he was crafting makeshift angels, in order to keep the faith alive. Thanks to Hydrus, Carbine saw his chance to retake a world he had failed to conquer. It took until nine hundred years later, however Hydrus had finally been given a being powerful enough to house the spirit of Carbine, thanks to his science division of course. Across the growth of the being, Carbine visited each of the Planetist leaders in their dreams. He infested their mind with visions of raw power. Of course, each was as zealous as Hydrus, save for the princess Andromeda, and they fell right into Carbine’s grasp. Carbine and Hydrus had planned something completely different with one another, and their plan was executed to perfection, whilst the other leaders were left to die. Carbine arrived in the body of the being created through powerful genetic engineering, and proceeded to kill Hydrus. The events afterwards, you are already aware of, young Mikoto.”

    “One thing I don’t understand,” Mikoto began, “is why Carbine alluded to me and him being siblings, and the connection between us.” Mikoto smiled, confidence rising within her. “So answer me that one, voice in my head.”

    “Ah of course, I have neglected to inform you of who you are, my apologies. You are my daughter, Mikoto. Although it is apparent you have carried all of the traits your wonderful mother possessed, and none of my own. As for why you and Carbine are related, he is indeed my son. However your demonic brother has a good ten thousand years on you, as far as age goes, and is also the antithesis of you. You are indeed an angel; however I sent you to Charity long before your powers had developed, to see if you could develop a sense of closeness with those that you would one day come to save. You did more than that, and found yourself a home. Carbine had hoped to find you, and instead had only succeeded in finding half of the blade you hold now on your back. When you and your brother met, it reignited the angelic powers within you, as I’m sure you no doubt have realised. Sadly, the purpose for which you were sent to Charity for has been failed outright, and now I am left with wondering what I might do with you, my only daughter.”

    Mikoto sat motionless, allowing all of this newfound knowledge time to sink into her. Eventually she spoke to who had identified himself as her father, “What happened to him, Carbine I mean.”

    “He thought he would end up here, within my white halls, when he transcended the physical world. However he ended up back where he belongs. Carbine is a regulator, as I mentioned, and he ended up back on his own world. There he now sits, plotting once more to see through to the person that finished his plans for his father… the plans that were ten thousand years in the making. He did succeed in ending me and my planet; however I live on through you, Mikoto. That is where you must live up to one of two roles. Will you ascend yourself to become a regulator like the rest of your true family, or shall you allow me to return you to the physical world, with your other family, to continue what is no doubt going to be a tremendous battle across the cosmos.”

    “Any repercussions from either decision?” Mikoto asked, smiling slightly at the thought of finally having found out who she was.

    “None, really. Either way you’ll be fulfilling your fathers dying wish, to see through that your brother doesn’t succeed in turning this wonderful universe into a realm that knows only Chaos.”

    “Then I’ll take going back to the physical world, I’d rather deal with such things alongside my friends, like I’ve always done.”

    “Then it will be done, farewell Mikoto. Thank you for all that you’ve done in the dying hours of me, and my planet.”

    As the final words faded from her mind, Mikoto began to feel herself being engulfed once more in a tremendous darkness, before being propelled through the very fabric of space and time in a blinding flash of light. She felt herself slow down to a complete stop and the world around her take shape. She had been placed upon the bridge of the High Charity capital ship, facing the familiar faces of Beatrix, Sage, Edge, Madame Kobrakai, and Reich, who had now also been joined by Mary and Pepper. Mikoto let out a smile, and looked at each of her friends’ stunned faces.

    “You’re not going to believe what happened to me.”

    End Chapter 015.

  19. #44
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    And so it ends. Just when I'd thought you'd have given up on this fic. I had to reread the last two chapters to refresh my memory of what happened. But at least you finished it and I'm glad to see that this story got an ending.

        Spoiler:- review contains fic spoilers:
    Gone.

    http://psiumbreon.livejournal.com/82372.html

  20. #45
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    I really liked the part where Mikoto was spoken to by her father. There was something kind of surreal about it, which I thought was cool, plus it was quite informative with regards to Mikoto, Carbine, the history of Charity itself... very interesting stuff. ^^

    I also enjoyed the part where Andromeda, Edge, and Gala were flying up to the High Charity capital ship on the Apocali. With the Apocali fading out in midair, I didn't know if they would make it, so yeah, that part was pretty exciting, I thought. ^^

    Now for some other highlights of the final chapter:

    This is what happens when a real angel appears. Everything becomes a waster and nothing is left. Good game to us, good game to Charity.
    A quote I just really liked the hell out of. ^^

    “Then the walls came crashing down.” Whispered Hydrus, looking now towards the outskirts of the cavern. The field of water had begun to swell uncontrollably, and a few seconds after his utterance, they broke entirely, flooding the cavern with the dead waters. The unstable gravity of the chamber made the water behave extremely strangely. It poured into the chamber, however swelled into large vortexes and spiralled around the room. The moaning and the roars had become much more than mere echoes of the earth, and were now filling the cavern with their sounds of agony.
    That was cool. o.o

    “One last kiss for you then, my dear.” Hydrus said quietly, before launching a second assault upon Beatrix.
    I keep finding things in this story that remind me of Coheed lyrics... ^^


    Action, revelations, and even a couple of Reich's f-bombs for the road--this last chapter was certainly one that I enjoyed. ^^ Congratulations to you on the completion of this story, and thank you for posting it! ^^
    DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
    (Or do. I don't actually mind.)
    The Origin of Storms | Communication

  21. #46
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    I'm really glad you enjoyed the final chapter, it's made writing it worth more than just personal reasons, heh. I'm currentley toying with the idea of an epilogue, and more importantly, a sequel to the storyline, and indeed an expansion upon the entire universe this story is set within. The epilogue would most likely be the same length as the prologue, just really there to answer any questions that I felt weren't answered in the final chapter.

    However as mentioned I would like to expand on the universe somewhat. I was talking about it with PsiUmbreon earlier today, and I've been deciding whether or not I'd rather have it in written form, or comic book form, as a lot of the ideas I have give me the impression that a comic book format would portray them slightly better than a written work. However with that said, I would rather just get back into the writing game with this, because as I've said, there is a lot more to write about.

    I have several copies of the final chapter still stored on my hard drive, however I'm not sure if I'd like to show them to the world, as some differ valiantly from the end result I picked, and some might be thought of as better than what I've given out, which in a way is a good thing, but I'm sure you can see why I might not like the idea of that coming to light, hahah.

    At any rate, once more I appreciate the time you've taken to stick with this fic through the two+ years of its existence!

    Oh and as for the Coheed lyrics; I listen to them a lot when I'm writing, heh. That might explain it :P

  22. #47
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    Oh My God it's been so long since I've bothered to read this. I'm not sure what to comment on. Since it's the last of the story, I'm probably not going to comment too much on grammar or anything. We'll see what happens when I'm done with these last two chapters. I'm going to read this for enjoyment.

    Chapter 14

    “Indeed. I am Alexander Saner the third.
    There’s real alcohol, something they call Charity rum, and there’s something about the hum that
    Always capital titles.
    Gala was able to see what she was wearing properly for the first time since she had came into the room.
    come
    She had curled her hair, and was wearing a short crimson coloured dress.
    Her hair was curled, and she was wearing a short crimson dress.
    promotion to commander, that was… er… f[/font]ucking brilliant.”
    They come out to hunt, but when they’re scared they hide underground. Just like the Divinity ba[font=verdana]stards.
    stuff

    Aside from the moaning, the only other noise that stopped the place from being completely silent was the gentle hum of the energy field, coursing around the now dormant black hole.
    I love how the now at the end completely changes the entire meaning for that sentence from definitely dormant to the possibility that it will not be dormant later on.

    I would suggest not switching between using creed and carbine, because it is a bit confusing.

    I guess I could have read this back when you made it, but I have been lazy. It's been so long since I've even tried to review fanfiction. Since then I'm able to see a lot more inbetween the lines thanks to the english classes I've been taking. It really increases my experience when reading. That being said I liked this chapter. I especially liked the part where you explained how Gala and Edge had left, so that you didn't have to make a scene out of it, as well as other similar scene changes.

    Chapter 15

    “And you Creed, have nothing left. Edge and Gala however, do.”
    Two more bullets?
    With one final push the Apocali faded out of existence and Andromeda, Edge and Gala’s dead body fell into a freefall.
    You might have wanted to tell us that Gala was dead before this point.
    we’re going to somewhere far, far more to your concern than death.”
    I'd consider changing that, because it sounds confusing.


    I'm going to take this last chance I have to tell you how extremely fantastical your idea of black holes is in this story. There are so many things wrong with how you portray them. But since this is your story, I'm not going to go into those reasons.

    This chapter would seem like it should be more emotional, but it isn't. The parts where Beatriz leaves Mikoto sounded like it should have been much more emotional, judging by how the characters took it when onboard the ship. However I didn't really feel like there was that much tension. I think what you did there at the time of Beatrix's departure was put too much descrpition in there. Make it a bit more simple, only explaining the hard parts. And when beatrix tells sage to leave, make it a bit more forced to make it look like she's trying to conver up her sadness.

    The ending definitely seems like it's meant to continue. If I was under the impression that this was the end, that line would seem out of place. But you have stated both directly and inside of the story that you will continue. Anyway, good job, I'm glad I finished this, yada yada yada.

  23. #48
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    Asking me to give a review is quite a foolish act in itself. I usually don't tend to stray from "wow, that's awesome!" to "that's pretty horrible" (if you're lucky, all in the same post) but I owe you more than that I think.

    Wow, that's awesome! You've done a good job of setting up a world with an interesting cast of characters. Mikoto and Creed are personal favorites, although I sort of miss the cocky "I'm just doing this because I'm bored" Creed (Or at least, that's how I read all of his lines) rather than "I WILL BECOME A GOD oh **** i've messed everything about" Creed. Ah well, had to go out somehow, although I've heard rumors of him being like a cockroach. Which pleases me greatly.

    I really enjoyed reading the characters interacting, just talking, chilling out, making "are we going to die" "yes" "****" "JUSTKIDDINGLOL" jokes in the middle of life threatening situations..! I also somewhat enjoyed reading the fights, which is something that usually bores me to death, so good job on that too!

    Critique, critique..
    A lot of it has already been covered, so I'd probably be digging up a dead horse and beating it a bit before tossing dirt on it, so.. It seemed to be a bit odd that Gala survived, but I can forgive it as it's the first time that's happened. At least to a character I didn't like so much I could ignore it. Overall a bit rough around the edges, but otherwise shows a good amount of promise.


    There's not really a lot more I could say, so all and all I had a pretty enjoyable time reading it and I look forward to reading whatever you write next.
    this is how you make me feel

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